This Day in Jewish History

This Day, April 9, by Mitchell A and Deb Levin Z”L

Wednesday April 8th, 2020 09:42:35 PM

April 9

193: Septimius Severus is proclaimed Roman Emperor by the army in Illyricum.  Severus is the first emperor to ban proselytizing by Jews.

423: Emperor Theodosius II reaffirms the Roman law according to which “No Jew may purchase Christian slaves because it is abominable that religious slaves would be defiled by the ownership of impious Jews. If anyone does this, they will be subject to the statutory punishment without any delay.”

423: Theodosius II and Honorious reaffirm the Roman law which ban the seizure or burning of Synagogues but which also allows the Jews to “be punished by confiscation and exile for life if it is discovered that they have circumcised a” Christian.

614: According to “the Armenian bishop and historian Sebos” one of two possible dates the residents of Jerusalem rebelled during the war between he Byzantines and the Sasanians – a rebellion which claimed an untold number of Jews living in the city.

1141(30th of Nisan): Rabbi Joseph ben Meir Ha-Levi Ibn Migas “disciple and successor to Rabbi Isaac Alfasi” passed away today

1336: Birthdate of Tamerlane or Timur, the Mongol leader “under whose rule the Jewish people prospered” passed away today. (For more see Tamerlane and the Jewsby Michael Shterenshis)

1362: The Crown of Aragon (the name of the realm ruled by the King of Aragon) examined a court case involving the murder of a Jew by two Muslims. The widow of the man took the matter to the court after unsuccessfully seeking justice in the town where the murder occurred.

1500: A huge fleet under the command of Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, accompanied by Gaspar da Gama, a Polish born Jew whose slave name had been Yusuf ‘Adil before being forcibly converted to Christianity, “crossed the Equator” today and sailed westward away from the African coast.

1582(7th of Nisan): Lemberg Rabbi Naphtali Herz ben Meir passed away today.

1609: “The Twelve Year’s Truce” which “was a watershed in the Eighty Years’ War, marking the point from which the independence of the United Provinces received formal recognition by outside powers” and helped to provide a Dutch haven for Marranos and Sephardi Jews seeking physical safety and place from which to conduct their trade with the Levant and North Africa, took effect today.

1723(4thof Nisan): Judah Loeb ben David Neumark, author of Shoresh Yehuda which had been published at Frankfort on the Main in 1692 and who had been the manager of  the printing house owned by Daniel Ernest Jablonski  passed away today.

1723(4thof Nisan, 5483): Judah Loeb ben David Neumark, author of Shoresh Yehuda which had been published at Frankfort on the Main in 1692 and who had been the manager of  the printing house owned by Dr. Daniel Ernest Jablonski,  passed away today. Jablonski “a member of the Academy of Sciences in Berlin and a court preacher” was critical to the success of Judah Loeb’s printing projects since Jews were forbidden to have licenses showing ownership of a printing press.  Together, they probably produced a copy of Psalms and the Bible. Neumark was a trail-blazer in the field of Jewish printing in Germany, as can be seen by the many people who followed in his footsteps including his son Nathan Neumark.

1754(17thof Nisan, 5514): 3rd day of Pesach.

1774(28thof Nisan, 5534): Parashat Shmini read on both sides of the Atlantic as British troops begin to make their way to Boston where they will enforce the act of Parliament closing the port in retaliation for the Boston Tea Party.

1782: Rabbi Isaac Hess Kugelmann and his wife gave birth to German educator and author Michael Hess whose students included “the young baron James von Rothschild.”

1792(17thof Nissan, 5552): Third Day of Pesach

1792: On the same day that Jews were celebrating their release from Egyptian bondage, President George Washington was writing to the U.S. consider the advisability of paying ransom for American captives held by those whom in Algiers who were later described as pirates.

1796: Birthdate of Curacao native and New York City resident Mordecai Frois, the husband of Cynthia Gomez and father of Rachel, Morris and Abigail Frois.

1797: In Germany, Frommet Weil and Davis Hirsch Lindauer gave birth to Jakob Hirsch Linaduer, the husband of Therese Einstein and father of Babette, Manasse, Rebekka, David and Joseph Lindauer.

1799(4thof Nisan, 5559): Forty-nine year old Abraham Mendes Seixas, the son of Isaac Mendes Seixas of Lisbon and Rachel Franks Levy of London passed away today in Charleston, SC.

1800(14thof Nisan, 5560): Ta’anit Bechorot observed for the first time in the 19thcentury and for the last time during the Presidency of John Adams.

1806(21st of Nisan): Rabbi Daniel of Horodno, author of “Hamudei Daniel” passed away today.

1807: Joseph and Sophia Spyer were wed today at the Great Synagogue today.

1807: Forty-five year old “Cornish historical and portrait painter” John Opie who created “An Old Jew” passed away today.

1809: In Savannah, GA, Charleston native Perla Sheftall and Norfolk native Isaac Russell gave birth to Levi Sheftall, the husband of Anna Serena Martin with whom he had six children.

1811: “The New York State Legislature granted financial aid to the parochial school of Congregation Shearith Israel.” (As reported by Abraham P. Bloch)

1816(11th of Nisan): Rabbi Simchah Bunim Rapaport of Wuerzburg, author of Hiddushei Rashbaz passed away.

1824: One day after he had passed away, a son Yitzhak Cohen was buried today at the “Brady Street Jewish Cemetery.”

1825(21stof Nisan, 5585): Shabbat Shel Pesach

1827: In Lenrburg, Germany, Abraham Greensfelder and his wife gave birth to Isaac Greensfelder, the husband of Amalia Blum who founded the Hebrew Relief Society in 1859, was charter member of Sinai Congregation in Chicago where he served as the President of the United Hebrew Charities for thirty two years and director of Michael Reese Hospital for 38 years.

1828: German natives Jan and Samuel Stiebel gave birth to Rosetta Stiebel.

1830(16thof Nisan 5590): Second Day of Pesach and the first day of Omer.

1831: In London, Frances Cohen and Joel Benjamin gave birth to Isaac Benjamin.

1838(14th of Nisan, 5598):Ta’anit Bechorot / Erev Pesach

1838(14th of Nisan, 5598): Leopold Bettelheim passed away. Born in 1777, this Hungarian physician was also “a Hebraist of some importance.” “In 1830 Bettelheim was the recipient of a gold medal of honor from the emperor Franz I. for distinguished services to the royal family and to the nobility.”

1846: In Oberdorf, Germany, Jacob Weil and Jette Pflaumlocher gave birth to Henry Wiel, the husband of Mina Rosenthal who moved to North Carolina where he served as President of both the Carolina Rice Mills and the Goldsboro Ice Company, trustee of the University of North Carolina, Goldsboro City Alderman and a leader of the B’nai B’rith.

1849: Jeanetta Mallan and Kent native Joseph Davis gave birth to Esther Davis.

1855: In London Cecilia and David Woolf Marks gave birth to Harry Hananel Marks, who founded the Financial News in 1884.

1857(15thof Nisan, 5617): Pesach

1860(17thof Nisan, 5620): Third Day of Pesach

1860: In Philadelphia, “Elias and Amelia (Mayer) Wolf” gave birth to businessman and civic leader Clarence Wolf, a member of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, a member of the Pennsylvania State Senate from 1908 to 1912 and a director of Congregation of Rodeph Shalom.

1863(20thof Nisan, 5623): 6th day of Pesach

1863: As the Jews munch on Matzah, Samuel Dupont whose fleet of nine ironclads has failed to take Forts Moultrie and Sumter debates whether or not it is worth renewing the attack in Charleston Harbor.

1864(3rdof Nisan, 5624): Parashat Tazria

1864: Today, Jews in Keokuk, IA, chose “a Mr. J. Falk of New York…to be their schochet at an annual salary of $300, payable quarterly.”

1865: Robert E. Lee and U.S. Grant met at Appomattox Court House and concluded the agreement the marked the end of Civil War. While Jews fought on both sides of the conflict, the majority of Jews supported the Union and fought for the North.  At the same time, a description of the Siege of Petersburg includes a notation that the Confederate lines were so thin that the Jewish soldiers could not be allowed to be absent to observe their Day of Atonement as they had been in past years.  Simon Wolf, a Jewish activist of the 19th Century, collected the names of over 7000 Jewish-Americans who fought on both sides during the Civil War. In 1895, he published the list in a directory entitled The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier, and Citizen.

1865: The Eighty-Second Regiment, whose members included English born Louis Manly Emanuel, the graduate of the University of Pennsylvania doctor who had been serving as surgeon with the Army of the Potomac in every battle since Malvern Hill, “was at the extreme front of the Union Army” when Lee surrendered today at Appomattox.

1865: Andrew Jackson “Jack” Moses was among the Confederate soldiers who fought against the Union Army at Sumter, SC. 

1865(13thof Nisan, 5625): Lt. Joshua Lazarus Moses was killed today as Confederate forces fought at Mobile, Alabama. Moses had been with the army since the start of the war having fought at the First Battle of Bull Run.

1865:  Birthdate of Charles Proteus Steinmetz, the native of Breslau Germany, who came to the United States in 1889.  Viewed by some as brilliant theorist and mathematical genius, Steinmetz held more than 200 patents when he passed away in 1923.  He experimented with AC electricity. His work was primarily in the field of improving practical electrical devices and the transmission of energy.  The following comments provide some sense of his importance as a Jew and as an America. “Where does our future lie! It lies in developing and making use of men like the great Jews, Abram Jacobi, Charles Proteus Steinmetz and Louis Brandeis, who are true to their own nature, and who respond to the American environment. These men are not amateur Gentiles. They are Jews and they are Americans.”

1867: In Rochester, NY, Abram and Caroline Stern gave birth to Cornell University trained architect, whose works included the “Bausch and Lomb Optical Buildings in Rocheser” and “Berith Kodesh Temple.”

1867: The United States Senate ratified a treaty with Russia that enabled the United States to purchase Alaska. “Jews have been a prominent part of Alaska’s history even before its acquisition by the U.S. in 1867. San Francisco Jewish pioneering merchants Louis Sloss and Lewis Gerstle (for whom Northeast Alaska’s Gerstle River is named) are credited with opening the Alaska Territory to settlers and commercial enterprises when establishing the Alaska Commercial Company in 1868. Originally a fur-transporting firm, ACC expanded to become a salmon cannery and fishing fleet, operated a chain of trading posts providing general merchandise to natives, trappers, miners, and explorers, and supplied Alaska’s first fleet of ships during the Klondike Gold Rush of 1897-1901”.

1868: Miriam Isaacs, the daughter of Joseph Simon Magnus and Bele Eliaser Cohen, the wife of Emanuel Isaacs and the mother of Rosetta and Esther Isaacs was buried today in the “West Ham Jewish Cemetery.”

1870(8th of Nisan, 5630): Parashat Metzora; Shabbat HaGadol

1870(8th of Nisan, 5630): Forty-nine year old Esther G. Poznanski, the “daughter of Rachel and Isaac Barret” and “the wife of Gustavus Poznanski” with whom she had had four children passed away today after which she was buried in Charleston, SC.

1871: The annual meeting of the “Hebrew Benevolent Fuel Association” was held at Masonic Hall this morning. This organization now has over 1,000 members, and is now entirely supported by an annual subscription of $3 per capita. The association will no long have to resort to fairs, concerts, and other soliciting entertainments” for funding. “Last year” the Association “distributed 1,000 half tons of coal” valued at $3,375 to needy New York Jews.

1872: In New York, Nathan Goldberg’s home on Division Street suffered $300 dollars’ worth of damage in a fire tonight.

1872: Two days after he had passed away, 77 year old Nathan Harris, the husband of Rebecca Harris with whom he had had six children was buried today at the “Brompton (Fulham Road) Jewish Cemetery.

1872: Birthdate of Léon Blum the first Jew to serve as French Premier. Imprisoned by the French and the Germans during World War II, he returned to politics briefly after the war before passing away in 1950.

1872(1st of Nisan, 5632): Rosh Chodesh Nisan

1876(15th of Nisan, 5636): First Day of Pesach

1876: According to a report published in the Salt Lake Tribune, the forty Jewish families of Utah’s largest city celebrated Pesach

1877(26th of Nisan, 5637): Henry Grass, a New York clothier passed away today.  He is survived by his wife Rebecca, six children, his brothers Abraham and Jacob and their daughters.

1877(26th of Nisan): Rabbi Jacob Simchah of Kempna, author of “Sha’arei Simchah” passed away

1878: In Pinsk, “Moses and Lifsha (Rosenkranz) Chermerinsky gave birth to Jewish Teachers Institute of Vilna graduate and Zionist Isaiah M. Chemerinsky, the “founder and principal of the Jewish High School in Kiev” and Hebraist who in 1922 settled in the United States where he became the Executive Director of the Jewish National Fund Educational Council and joined several Zionist organizations including “Histadruth Ivrith.”

1879(16thof Nisan, 5639): Second Day of Pesach

1879(16thof Nisan, 5639): Sixty-one year old Viennese poet Karl Isidor Beck passed away.

1882: Three days after she had passed away, the former Emily Esther, the wife of painter Phoebus Levin and the mother of Victoria Levin was buried today at the Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.

1882: Two days after she had passed away, 56 year old Miriam (Nathan) Benjamin, the daughter of Nathan and Sarah Nathan and wife of Solomon Benjamin with whom she had had fifteen children was buried today in the Willesden Jewish Cemetery in London.

1883: Businessman Nathan Barnet who helped to found the Miriam Barnert Hebrew Free School and the Barnert Memorial Hospital and the Barnert Memorial Temple was elected Mayor of Paterson New Jersey.

1884(14th of Nisan, 5644): Fast of the First Born

1884(14th of Nisan, 5644): “The Festival Of Pesach” published in the New York Times today states reported to that “the Jewish festival of Pesach, or the Passover will begin at sunset this evening and continue for seven days…It is also known as the Feast of Matzoth on account of the eating of the matzoth or cakes of unleavened bread during its continuance.”

1887(15thof Nisan, 5647): Pesach

1887(15th of Nisan, 5647): Dr. Gustav Gottheil preached a sermon at New York’s Temple Emanu-el.

1888: Birthdate of Hungarian native Alexander Lichtman, the pioneer American film producer.

1888: Birthdate of Ukrainian native Solomon Gurkov who gained fame as Sol Hurok, the impresario who learned the meaning of anti-Semitism at an early age.  When he was 18, Hurok’s father gave him one thousand rubles to go to Kiev.  Hurok took the money but went to Philadelphia instead.  Once in the States, Hurok began a career as an impresario promoting everything from violinists, to opera, to Anna Pavlova, to an Israel-Yemenite Singing and Dancing Troup that preserved the Jewish-Yemenite Heritage.  He passed away in 1974. Ironically, one of the first performers whom Hurok promoted was the violinist Efrem Zimablist who was also born on April 9 in another part of the Russian Empire.

1889:  Birthdate of Efrem Zimbalist in Rostov-on-Don Russia.  Zimbalist studied with his father who was conductor of note before coming to the United States in 1914.  He made his major musical debut in 1922.  He was one of a long list Jewish violinist to populate the musical cosmos in the last two centuries.  He passed away in 1985.

1890: The will of the late Louis Lippman was filed for probate today.

1890: An inquest was convened to determine the culpability of Abraham Marks in the death of Henry Heppner.  Marks claimed he shot Heppner when he was trying to break into his tailor’s shop through a rear window.

1890: In Elmwood, OH, “Alexander Tedesche and Jeanette (Jennie) Greenfield gave birth Hebrew Union College graduate and St. John’s University trained attorney, Sidney Saul Tedesche, the holder of Ph.D. from Yale who served as a rabbi at Brith Sholom in Springfield, Beth El in Providence, Bethel El in San Antonio, Mishkan Israel in New Haven and Union Temple in Brooklyn while raising two daughters – Carol and Jeanne – with his wife “the former Irma Goldman.”

1891: Adolph Saphir, who had been born into a Hungarian Jewish family in 1831 and converted in 1843 after which he “served as “Missionary to the Jews” passed away today.

1892: “Three City Hospitals” published today described the efforts of New York City to provide treatment for those suffering from contagious diseases including the construction of a new pavilion at Riverside Hospital on North Brother Island for the benefit of Jewish immigrants from Russia who are suffering from typhus.

1893: On the day after Passover, Rabbi. Gustav G. Gottheil delivered a lecture entitled “The Christian Mission to the Jews; or, Who Needs Conversion!” at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.

1893: It was reported today that the anti-Semites in Vienna claim that the man who attacked Karl Lueger with a knife was an agent of the Israelite Alliance.

1893: Birthdate of New York City native and MIT and Harvard trained civil engineer who served in the U.S. Navy during WW I after which he became a successful novelist.

1890 Dr. Gustav Gottheil, “the rabbi of Temple Emanuel” delivered a lecture today on “The Christian Mission to the Jews; or Who Needs Conversion” in which he declared himself forcibly against the missionary work among the Jews which is being carried on by the Christian Churches.”

1893: Four days after she had passed away, 61 year old Marianne (Goldshede) Abrahams, the daughter of Barnado and Annette Goldshede and the wife of Samuel Benjamin Abrahams with whom she had had seven children was buried today at the “Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery” today.

1893: Birthdate of Victor Gollancz, the son of a London wholesale jeweler, “nephew of Rabbi Professor Sir Hermann Gollancz and Professor Sir Israel Gollancz and grandson of Rabbi Samuel Marcus Gollancz” the British author and publisher who was one of the first to issue warnings about the impending mass murder of Jews by the Nazis.

1895: “Russian Anti-Jew Edict Enforced” published today described the lasts step in the Czar’s anti-Semitic policy in which the government has “instructed local military officials…to enforce most strictly the ant-Jew edict of 1893” that “excluded Jews from the health resorts in the Caucasus.”

1895(15thof Nisan, 5655): Pesach

1895: Birthdate of Meyer Loshie Casman, the native of Russia who “attended University of PA, University of Michigan, and the US Military Academy at West Point” and which he served as “a lawyer, army engineer and prosecutor during the Nuremberg Trials.”

1895: Dr. Solomon H. Sonnenschein who is the rabbi at Congregation Temple Israel in St. Louis will deliver a Passover Sermon entitled “The Root and Fruit of Freedom” in German at the Fifteen Street Temple in New York City. (Sermons in German were still the norm in many Reform congregations and the switch to English caused a schism in many congregations.  So much for equating Reform with being accepting of change)

1895: In Hungary, Joseph Lichtman and Pepe (aka Josephine) Zuckermandel gave birth to Alexander “Al” Lichtman a pioneering cinema businessman and movie producer whose most famous work may have been “The Young Lions.”

1898(17thof Nisan, 5658): Third Day of Pesach and Shabbat

1899: In Gainesville, TX, Nathan and Eva Baum Lapowski gave birth to WW I Marine Corps veteran Errold Baum Lapowski, the husband of Enid, OK native Eleanor Klein Lapowski, the President of the National Council of Jewish Women and father of Emily and Jean Lapowski.

1900: Tonight during a memorial service for Dr. Isaac M. Wise, “Dr. Emil G. Hirsch made an appeal to the Jewish people to raise $500,000 which is the amount yet required to lift the debt on Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati which was an institution founded by the first leader of Reform Judaism in the United States.

1902: Herzl wrote to Lord Rothschild in London asking for a meeting in the British capital.

1903(12thof Nisan, 5663): Ta’anit Bechorot

1903: Birthdate of Dr. Gregory Pincus.  Born in New Jersey, Dr. Pincus’ parents where Jewish immigrants from Russia.  Dr. Pincus’ father was an agronomist who hoped to train Russian Jews to become farmers in the United States. A graduate of Cornell with a Ph.D. from Harvard, Dr. Pincus is known as the “Father of the Pill.”  Dr. Pincus and Dr. Chiang developed the first birth control pill; a discovery that altered American and the world’s sexual behavior forever.  Pincus continued his work until his untimely death in 1967.

1904(24thof Nisan, 5664): Parashat Shmini

1904: In “Paschal Lamb Forbidden” published today the author takes issue with a statement by the New York Times saying that the family feasted on the Paschal Lamb during the seder since the lamb has not been sacrificed for 1,834 years” and that Jews “were forbidden to eat the lamb” while “wine, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs are the really important ceremonial features” of the Seder.

1905:  Birthdate of J. William Fulbright, former Senator from Arkansas.  Fulbright gained fame as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  Fulbright denied being pro-Arab or anti-Israel.  However, after he left the Senate he became a highly paid lobbyist for the Arab oil states.

1906(14thof Nisan, 5666): Fast of the First Born – Erev Pesach

1906(14thof Nisan, 5666): Morris Goldstein passed away.

1906: Austrian native Nettie Kinsbruner, the daughter of Shmuel Meyer Stettner and Rachel Stettner and her husband David (Aubie) Kinsbruner gave birth to Minna Katz, the older sister of American college basketball star Mac Kinsbrunner.

1906: Louis J. Goldman was elected President of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.

1906: “When Gold Boils” published reported today that Professor “Henri Moissan has been trying some interesting experiments in vaporizing gold in the electric furnace.”  A French born Jew, Moissan won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1906.

1906(14th of Nisan, 5666): Mrs. Sarah Orenstein and two of her children were almost asphyxiated this evening.  While cleaning her house in preparation for Pesach, Mrs. Orsenstein apparently failed to replace a piece tubing that she had taken from the stove causing a gas leak.  Fortunately her husband figured out what had happened and called an ambulance before the family was overcome by the fumes.

1906(14th of Nisan, 5666): Today in a Harlem Police Court the needs of two religions clashed and the Jews lost twice.  The magistrate fined eight Orthodox Jews who had worked on done construction work on new building yesterday.  They were fined because they worked on the Christian Sabbath even though they explained to the Judge that they had only been working on Sunday so they could finish the job before the Passover.  The same magistrate fined Michael Garlick for killing chickens yesterday, Sunday, which was the Christian Sabbath.  In his defense Garlick said that his boss had told him that the Deputy Police Commissioner said it would be alright to slaughter the chickens on a Sunday because of the approaching Passover holiday.  The magistrate did not dispute the fact that the Commissioner had made the statement.  He said Garlick was guilty because the Commissioner did nave “the right to interpret the law.”

1907: In St. Petersburg, “the attention of the government has been called to the fact that thousands of Jewish families in the southern provinces of Russia are selling their homes and departing in fear of wholesale anti-Jewish attacks.”

1908” Birthdate of Jersey City, NJ native and NYU alum Joseph Krumgold , the successful scriptwriter and winner of two Newberry Medals who was the husband of “the former Helen Litwin” and husband of Adam Krumgold.

1908: Hundreds of poor Jews received free tickets at the offices of the United Hebrew Communities Charity which can be exchanged for Matzoth, meat and other groceries. Most of the recipients are women, many of whom who have brought their young children with them.  The distribution is an annual event intended to make it possible for even the poorest Jew to be able to celebrate Passover.  Tickets will be distributed as long as there funds are available to fund the purchase of the necessary food items.

1909: Birthdate of Galicia native Jack Diamond, the founder of “British Columbia’s largest meat packing firm – Pacific Meats,” the Chancellor of Simon Fraser University and husband of Sadie Mandelbuam with whom he had two son – Charles and Gordon.

1910: Birthdate of Yosef Shalom “a Haredi rabbi and posek who lives in Jerusalem, Israel.”

1910: Birthdate of Abraham A. Ribbicoff.  Born in New Britain, Connecticut, to Jewish immigrant parents from Poland, Ribbicoff attended New York University and was awarded a law degree cum laude from the University of Chicago in 1933. Starting in 1938, Ribbicoff worked his way up the Connecticut political ladder.  During the late 1950’s was a popular two term governor who became an early supporter of John F. Kennedy.  Ribbicoff served two years as Secretary of H.E.W. before resigning to begin a two decade long career in the U.S. Senate.  Ribbicoff was a champion of civil rights, Medicare and the American workers.  He passed away in 1998.  Today we take the involvement of Jews at all levels of the political process for granted.  Such was not the case when Ribbicoff began his career.  An observant Jew, Ribbicoff was a trail-blazer for the dozens of Jewish Representatives and Senators who are in Washington today.

1911: Reverand Madison C. Peters, the Pastor Bloomingdale Church, gave a lecture today at Temple Beth El on Haym Salomon, “the financier of the American Revolution.”  During his talk, Rev Peters stated that “Haym Solomon…did for the Nation’s credit what Washington did on the field for freedom.”

1912(22ndof Nisan, 5672): Eighth Day of Pesach

1912: In New York City, Francis Nathan Wolff and Joseph F. Cullman, Jr. gave birth to Joseph Frederick Cullman III, the businessman who turned Philip Morris into a “tobacco powerhouse.”

1912(22ndof Nisan, 5672): Sixty-four year old Andrew Saks, the Baltimore born son of Helena and William Saks the President and co-founder of Saks and Company best known for Saks 5th Avenue and the husband of the former Jennie Rohr with whom he raised three children – Horace ,William and Leila – passed away today.

1912: Birthdate of Lew Kopelew, Russian author and political dissident.  Like many of his generation, Kopelew career was a checkered one with his acceptance or rejection depending upon the prevailing political winds.  Unlike many of his contemporaries, Kopelew survived the Soviet Union, dying peacefully in 1997.

1913(2ndof Nisan, 5673): Sixty-five year old New York banker Leo Speyer, the husband of Sara Speyer, who bought he house on 17 E. 82nd Street in 1898 passed away today.

1913: In Chicago, Adah Stern married Walter J. Greenebaum at the Blackstone Hotel.

1913: Sixty-seven year old German “philanthropist and art collector Henriette Hertz who converted to Christianity in 1871 and “is now known mainly through her establishment of the Bibliotheca Hertziana” passed away today in Rome.

1914: In “America Sung in Synagogues” published today, Rabbi Edward M. Chapman, Ph.D. took issue with the statement that “America” will be sung for the first time at Pesach eve services on April 10 since “America” has always been sung in his congregations “on national holidays when services are held as well as on some of our own holidays.

1915: Rabbi Felix A. Levy led services this evening at Temple Emanuel at Broadway and Buckingham Place.

1915: Rabbi A.R. Levy led services this evening at Congregation B’nai Jehoshua in Chicago.

1916(6thof Nisan, 5676): Second Lt Benjamin James Polack of the 9 Worcestershire was killed today during WW I while serving for King and Country.

1916: Birthdate of Elliot Handler, who co-founded the Mattel toy company.

1916: A mass meeting was held this afternoon at the London Casino in the Bronx to protest against the Burnett Immigration Bill which Justice Peter Sheil described as “class legislation” that “was aimed primarily against the Jews” since “a large percentage of the immigration for the past several years” has been made of Jews.

1916:Among the donations listed today by the Special Million Dollar Fund of the American Jewish Relief Committee $25 from the Mobile, Alabama council of Jewish Women, $50 from Goldstein and Kirshner Co. of which Israel Kirshner was President and $1,000 from the Harriman National Bank in New York City.

1916: Among the donations listed today the Central Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War were $12 from the Ladies Aid Society of Spring Valley, $100 from the Provisional Zionist Committee and $218 from the Rock Island, Illinois Committee for the Relief of Jews Suffering Through the War.

1917: Three days after the United States entered WW I, Samuel Untermyer, the head of The Jewish League of American Patriots is scheduled to go Washington to “confer with Secretary of War Baker on plans to enroll and drill the young Jews of New York

1917: At a meeting of the leaders of most the major Jewish organizations which had been called for by Samuel A. Goldsmith, the Executive Secretary of the Army and Navy Department of the Council of the Y.M.H.A. held today at the Astor Hotel it was decided that “all religious welfare work growing out of the participation of Jews in the war will be under the direction of a central board” with nine members

1917: During World War I, “Mark Sykes wrote to Lord Balfour that ‘The situation now is therefore that Zionist aspirations are recognized as legitimate by the French.’” Sykes was one of the leading British diplomats in the Middle East.  This correspondence with Lord Balfour was part of the jockeying for Jewish support during World War I and possession of parts of the Ottoman Empire after the war ended.

1917: It was reported today that Herbert S. Goldstein who resigned as Associate Rabbi of the Congregation Kehailath-Jeshurun so he could “dedicate his to a popular Jewish revival movement in New York City” will be leasing a house where he will be holding daily services and “a theatre for Sunday morning lectures.”

1918: Based on previously published reports Samuel R. Travis is leading a drive supported by “200 prominent orthodox Jews” to gain “additional members for the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.

1919: According to a cablegram made public tonight by “the Palestine Anti-Zionism Society” “the latest census in Palestine places Jews at less than 7 per cent of the population and shows that only one” out of every thousand “possesses land.”

1920(21stof Nisan, 5680): Seventh day of Pesach

1920(21stof Nisan, 5680): Seventy year old Isaias Wolf Hellman the native of Bavaria who came to the United States in 1859 where he became such a success as a banker and philanthropist that he became one of the founders of the University of Southern California passed away today.

1920: In Vienna, university students delivered a resolution “to the rector demanding that in the future Jews not be appointed teachers, clerks or even servants; that academic distinctions not be conferred on Jewish professors;” and that the number of Jewish students must be limited so that it corresponds to their percentage in the general population.  (Yes, 18 years before the Anschluss ant-Semitism was alive and well in Austria.)

1920: Anti-Jewish mass meetings were held in Vienna to commemorate “the 10thanniversary of the death of Karl Lueger, the former Jew-baiting burgomaster.”

1921: Birthdate of George David Weiss the New York native who “was an American songwriter and former President of the Songwriters Guild of America.”

1921: In Jerusalem, Yosef and Myriam Navon, descendants of distinguished Sephardi families who had been living in the city since the 17th century gave birth to Yitzhak Rachamim Navon the fifth President of Israel.

1921: Birthdate of Eugen Merzbacher, the Berlin born American physicist.

1922: In Brooklyn, Samuel and Shirley Mandel, gave birth to Doctor Irwin D. Mandel, an expert on Dental Chemistry.

1922: In Prague, Marie Grabenstein Epstein and Dr. Moritz Epstein gave birth to Jindrich Epstein.

1922: Birthdate of Eleanor Chana Gordon — known as Chana – who as Chana Mlotek the “music archivist at YIVO Institute for Jewish Research and a columnist for theForward

1923: A committee which had been formed in response to the growing number of Jews, especially those from eastern Europe, to “examine the principles and methods for more effectively sifting candidates for admission” delivered its reported today which on the surface looked like a victory for admission by merit but contained to “two key recommendations” – raise the proportion of students from the interior of the United States and limit the number of tram students – which would lead to a decline of Jewish students to ten percent which was much more to the liking of President Lowell.

1923: Birthdate of Toronto native Leonard Williams Levy who won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1969 for Origins of the Fifth Amendment.

1925(15thof Nisan, 5685): Pesach

1925: Birthdate of Winnipeg native Esther Ghan Cohen who gained fame as Esther Ghan Firestone, the soprano and choral conductor who served as Canada’s first female cantor.

1925: “In Sverdlovsk (now Ekaterinburg), in the Ural Mountains” pediatric surgeon Iosif Neizvestny and “the former Bella Dizhur, a biochemist, poet and children’s book author” gave birth to sculptor Ernst Iosifovich Neizvestny

1926, The Rosenblums, a professional basketball team “organized and owned by Cleveland department stor woner Max Rosenblum, “won the ABL’s first championship by defeating the Brooklyn Arcadians by a score of 23–22 in the final game of the league’s first championship series played at Brooklyn’s 71st Infantry Regiment Armory

1926: In Vilna, Max and Sonia Silverstein gave birth to “Mike Silverstein, a founder of Nina Footwear, a women’s shoe company that grew from a SoHo loft to an international concern selling around 10 million pairs of shoes a year.”

1926: It was reported today that “budgetary allotments totaling $4,436,171.59 have been approved for 1926 by the Federation for the Support of Jewish Charities under the chairmanship of Felix M. Warburg.

1927: Alfred Williams Anthony, Sidney L. Gulick and John W. Herring who have been working with the Federal council of Churches of Christ in America “sent a cablegram to John R. Mott, the General Secretary of the International Young Men’s Christian Association” which is meeting in Budapest expressing the “hope that you will recommend that the congress issue a call to the Christians everywhere to purge the world of the curse of anti-Semitism and to accord to the Jews that highly respected place in the brotherhood of peoples which they rich deserve on the base of their sacred literature and history and which is their inalienable right.”

1927: “Sacco and Vanzetti’s final appeal was rejected, and the two were sentenced to death. Felix Frankfurter, then a professor at Harvard Law School, was considered to be the most prominent and respectable critic of the trial. He was appointed to the Supreme Court by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1939.” (The Atlantic)

1928(19th of Nisan, 5688): Fifth Day of Pesach

1928(19thof Nisan, 5688): Ninety-three year old, Isaac Seligman the German born American banker who became head of “Seligman Brothers, the London branch of the Seligman merchant-banking empire” which led to his being a leading member of the Anglo-Jewish community passed away today in London.

1928: Birthdate of Tom Lehrer, folk singer and famed creator of political and social musical parodies

1929: In Brooklyn, “Samuel Lichtenstein, an immigrant from Poland, and Jennie Waldarsky, an immigrant from Ukraine” gave birth to Harvey Lichtenstein, long-time President of the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

1929: Betty and Walter Bridgland were married at a synagogue in Adelaid, Australia

1930: Birthdate of Nathan Blumenthal, the native of Ontario who gained fame as psychotherapist Nathan Branden, “the romantic partner of Ayn Rand.”

1931: “Results of experiments showing that softening of the brain is due to a deficiency in the diet of some hitherto undiscovered was presented” in Montreal today, by Professor A.M. Pappenheimer of Columbia” and one on his associates from the Storrs Experimental Station at “the annual meeting of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.

1932: Birthdate of Jerzy Feliks Urman, the native of the “East Galician town of Stanislow” under Polish rule who ended his own life by taking cyanide at the age of 11 during the Holocaust.

1932: Birthdate of the multi-talented Paul Krassner

1933: As negotiations for a Concordat between Hitler and the Vatican began Ludwig Kass met with Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli, the future pope.

1934: Israel B. Brodie announced that “more than a score of industrial nations will be represented at the third biennial Levant Fair to be held in Palestine.”  Participating countries include Sweden, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and Czechoslovakia.

1935: Birthdate of comedian Avery Schreiber

1935: In an interview at the Hotel Commodore, “Norman Bentwich, a close associate of James McDonald in the work of the League of Nations for Refugees, a former Attorney General of Palestine and a Professor of International Law at Hebrew University agreed that Palestine was the ‘pivotal center’ for Jewish refugee settlement” but that the “greatest urgency” is the need to establish a fund to the 4,000 non-Jewish refugees in France, Czechoslovakia and other countries.”

1935: Americans took two first place finishes in the swimming events at the 2ndMaccabiah.  George Sheinberg won the 100-meter back-stroke and Janice Lifson won the 100-meter free style competition.

1936: Based on a survey conducted by economist Jacob Lestschinsky the total world Jewish population is 16,240,000 “of whom 5,000,000 or 30 per cent live in the Americas” of which 4,450,000 live in the United States.

1936: “The official Nazi organ, the Angriffannounced today” that Germany is to have ‘pure Easter eggs’” because the 7,000 Jews who “composed 24 per cent of the industry” have been eliminated “from the egg trade.”

1937: “Striptease Held Indecent by Court” published today described the legal outcome of a raid on Minsky’s Burlesque, precipitated in part, by the performance of Roxana Sand.  Sand was born Golda Glickman and for five weeks in 1934 she had been the wife of the Jewish boxer King Levinsky.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that over 10 million boxes of citrus were shipped out from Palestine from the beginning of the citrus season ­ 8,951,597 boxes of oranges and 1,218,896 of grapefruit.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that after Poland inaugurated a thrice-weekly air service to Palestine, the Italian airline Ala Littoria started a regular weekly hydroplane service to Haifa.

1937: The Palestine Post reported that the largest-ever single pilgrimage from England since 1888 including 1,050 English and Welsh tourists arrived in Haifa aboard the S.S. Duchess of Richmond. The pilgrims proceeded to Jerusalem by two special trains, 70 cars and 15 buses, accompanied by 70 guides. They took over, for three days, all available Jerusalem hostels and hotels.

1937: “Elephant Boy” a Kiplingesque film directed by Zoltan Korda and produced by Alexander Korda was released in the United Kingdom today.

1938: “Arturo Toscanini, who came to Palestine to conduct a series of concerts with the Palestine Orchestra, arrived in Haifa by plane this afternoon accompanied by his wife.”  Among those greeting Toscanini was H.W. Steinberg, the conductor who has been rehearsing the orchestra and who will leave Palestine to become conductor of the N.B.C. Symphony Orchestra which Toscanini had been conducting.

1939: Illinois Democrat J. Hamilton “Ham” Lewis who as a Congressman had supported a “proviso in the Balfour Declaration that Jews going to Palestine to live could retain their original citizenship instead of automatically becoming British subjects” and who as U.S. Senator led “a protest against the possible transfer of American Jews from their present homes in Palestine to other parts of the country” passed away today.

1940(1stof Nisan, 5700): Rosh Chodesh Nisan

1940: “Denmark and Norway were invaded by Nazi Germany. Realizing that successful armed resistance was impossible and wishing to avoid civilian casualties, the Danish government surrendered after a few token skirmishes on the morning of the invasion.”

1940: As the Germans invade Norway, Sigrid Helliesen Lund burnt the entire list of Czech Jews who had taken refuge in the country.

1940: The Danish cabinet decided “to accept cooperation with German authorities” today leading to the Danish police cooperating with the German occupation forces.

1940: As a result of Operation Weserübung, Germans take control of Denmark.  Three years later, the Danes will save their Jewish population from extermination by the Nazis in one of the most famous and daring rescue operations of the war.

1941: “The Ghetto in Częstochowa was set up” today.

1942(22ndof Nisan, 5702): 8th Day of Pesach

1942(22ndof Nisan, 5702): Seventy-two year old Harvard trained, attorney Edwin S. Mack, the Cincinnati born son of Herman and Jennie (Wolf) Mack, the member of the University of Wisconsin Law School faculty and husband of the former Della Adler with whom he had three daughters – Theresa, Elizabeth and Jean.” passed away today after which he was buried at the Greenwood Cemetery in Milwaukee, WI.

1942: When the outnumbered U.S. and Filipino forces surrendered at Bataan today, Sergeant Louis Sachwald was among those who escaped capture as he was moved to Corregidor. Eventually he would be taken prisoner and would survive the infamous Bataan Death March and years of Japanese imprisonment.

1943: “Cabin in the Sky” the movie version of the 1940 Broadway musical, produced by Arthur Freed and Albert Lewis was released today in the United States.

1943: Forty-nine year old Anna Skobisova was transported from Prague to Terezin today on what would be next to the last stop before being murdered at Auschwitz.

1944: “The military authorities, with headquarters at Munkacs, began the rounding up of 320,000 Jews into Ghettoes within the operational area. In order to prevent any armed resistance by the Jews, they were concentrated in brick factories (as at Kassa, Ungvar, Kolozsvar) or under the open skies (as at Nagybanyam, Marosvasarchely, and Des).”

1945: Forty-eight year old “German jurist” Karl Sack who took part in the July 20 plot to kill Hitler was executed in Flossenbürg concentration

1945: Formation of the United States Atomic Energy Commission.  Two of the first three Chairman of the Commission are Jewish.  President Truman appointed David Lilienthal and President Eisenhower appointed Lewis Strauss. Neither of them were atomic scientists.

1945: Fifty-eight year old Admiral Wilhelm Franz Canaris, the head of the Abwehr “was executed in Flossenbürg concentration camp for high treason

1946: Eleven hundred Jewish refugees who had been sailing from Spezia to Palestine and who were now being detained in Italy went on a hunger.  The leaders of the Jewish agency them not continue the fast for their own safety.  They promised the refugees that the Jews of Eretz-Israel would fast in their place until they were allowed to continue to the Jewish homeland.

1946: “The Dark Corne black-and-white film noir” based on a story by Leo Rosten with music by Emil Newman was released today in the United States.

1947: In a criminal libel suit brought against L.M. Birkehad, “national director of the Friends of Democracy” sixty-six year old Lambert Fairchild a former NYC Alderman defended himself against claims that he was an anti-Semite, testifying under oath “that he had been elected alderman in 1934 in a predominately Jewish district and that he was associated with Jews in the American Legion.”

1948: The presiding of judge at the Nuremberg Military Tribunal announced the sentence on Eduard Strauch who was a commander of a unit of the Einsatzgruppen liquidated 55,000 Jews in a ten week period during 1943, as death by hanging – a sentenced he avoided due to other trials which enable to die in a hospital in Belgium in 1955.

1948(29th of Adar II, 5708): During the fighting that preceded the actual creation of the state of Israel, the Jewish defenders of Kastel had exhausted their supplies and were forced to withdraw.  Kastel was a village that dominated the eastern end of the Tel Aviv – Jerusalem highway.  The Haganah had taken at the start of Operation Nachshon and the Arabs were determined to retake the village.  The last order given to the Jewish soldiers “by their platoon commander Shimon Alfasi, ‘All privates will retreat – all commanders will cover their withdrawal.’ Alfasi was killed in the battle, covering the retreat.  His order became a watchword during many future actions.  Abdel Kader, the commander of the Arab forces was killed in the closing moments of the battle.  Without his leadership the Arabs gave up the village a couple of days later. The Jewish forces who were preparing to re-take the village were surprised to find that the village was there without any further loss of life.  

1948: During the battle for Mishmar HaEmek, Israeli forces captured and destroyed Ghubayya al-Tahta

1949(10thof Nisan, 5709): Parashat Tzav, Shabbat HaGadol

1949: U.S. premiere of “Champion,” directed by Mark Robson, produced by Stanley Kramer, starring Kirk Douglas with a screenplay by Carl Foreman and music by Dimitri Tomkin.

1951(3rd of Nisan, 5711): Seventy four year old Henry Englander  the native of Hungary and 1901 graduate of the University of Cincinnati and Hebrew Union College who served as the rabbi of Temple Beth-El in Providence, RI and lectured at Brown University, passed away today.

1952(14th of Nisan, 5712): Fast of the First Born

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported the Israeli official announcement that the reparation talks at The Hague had only been suspended.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel observed the Pesach festival with all traditional holiday foods severely rationed and in a very short supply. Wine shops were well-stocked, but only the more expensive brands were available. Pesach chocolates, sweets and biscuits were completely absent. The sole bright spot was an ample supply of vegetables. Citrus fruit was either very hard to get or completely unavailable.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported that the rubber industry, which employs over 1,000 workers, faced a complete shut-down owing to the shortage of raw materials.

1952: The Jerusalem Post reported The Palestine Conciliation Commission decided to consider an Israeli request that the Jewish property confiscated in Iraq would be charged against the abandoned Arab property in Israel.

1953: Warner Brothers premieres the first 3-D film, entitled House of Wax.

1954: President Eisenhower appointed Edward B. Lawson to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

1956(28thof Nisan, 5716): Yom HaShoah

1957:  The Suez Canal was cleared for all shipping.  This marked one of the final acts of the Suez Crisis that began in October of 1956 and resulted in a swift victory of the Israelis over the Egyptians.  The Egyptians blocked the Suez Canal in attempt to get support from the world.  In the end the Israelis left the Canal and the Sinai.  The Egyptians would fail to honor their promises of peace and when they tried to destroy Israel again in 1967, the result was an even more devastating defeat for the Arabs.

1957: Release date for “The Bachelor Party” Paddy Chayefsky’s screen adaptation of his 1953 teleplay of the same name.

1958(19thof Nisan, 5718): Sixty-seven year movie producer Solomon Max “Sol” Wurtzel passed away today.  Such was his importance that none other than renowned director John Ford delivered his eulogy.

1958(19thof Nisan, 5718): Sixty-nine year old Clarence Yale Palitz, the native of Lavia who came to the United States in 1900 where he became a lawyer, alderman and active member of the Jewish community holding leadership positions with the Jewish Ladies Day Nursery and the Jewish Social Service Association while raising three children – Lillian, Bernard and Clarence, Jr. – with his wife Ruth Krumnas Palitz passed away today.

1963(15thof Nisan, 5723): Pesach

1963: Birthdate of New York native and Parsons School of Design trainded American fashion designer Marc Jacobs.

1964: U.S. premiere of “The Carpetbaggers” the move version of Harold Robbins novel produced by Joseph E. Levine with music by Elmer Bernstein.

1965: In Homestead, FL, Mathew Zucker, “a cardiologist” and Arline Zucker, “a school steacher gave birth to Harvard graduate and television executive Jeff Zucker

1965: “The Greatest Story” a Biblical epic movie featuring Martin Landau, Ed Wynn and Joseph Schildkraut in his last movie with music by Alfred Newman was released in the United Kingdom today.

1968: The Jewish Orthodox Home for the Aged moved from Cleveland  to a 37 acre site in Beachwood Village “and adopted the name Menorah Park Jewish Home for the Aged.”

1969: The “Chicago Eight” plead not guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois. Three of the “Eight” – Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Lee Weiner – were Jewish.  The two lead defense attorneys were Jewish and the Judge hearing the case was also Jewish.

1971(14thof Nisan, 5731): Ta’anit Behorot; erev Pesach and erev Shabbat

1972: “Sugar” a musical produced by David Merrick with tunes by Jule Styne opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre.

1973: Israel Defense Forces Special Forces units attacked several Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) targets in Beirut and Sidon, Lebanon in an action thought “to be part of the retaliation for the Munich massacre at the Summer Olympics in 1972.”

1974(17thof Nisan, 5734): Third day of Pesach

1974: Sixty-eight year old Marvin Lewis Kline, the 34th mayor of Minneapolis who was “criticized by journalist Arthur Kasherman” for his close connection to the “Minneapolis Mob” some of whose members were Jewish passed away.

1976: In Israel, a car bomb was dismantled on Ben Yehudah Street shortly before it was to have exploded.

1976: “All The President’s Men” co-starring Dustin Hoffman with a screenplay by William Goldman and music by David Shire was released today in the United States.

1976: “Family Plot” a thriller with a script by Ernest Lehman was released in the United States today.

1976: NBC broadcast “The First Easter Rabbit” an animated tale co-starring Stan Freberg as “Flops.”

1978: “Rabbit Test,” directed and written by Joan Rivers, produced by Edgar Rosenberg, starring Billy Crystal in his film debut and featuring Norman Fell was released today in the United States.

1982: Birthdate of Canadian Jay Burchel who numbers a Sephardic Jewish grandfather among his ancestors.

1983(26thof Nisan, 5743): Parashat Shmini

1983(26thof Nisan, 5743): Seventy-four year old Gertrude Adelman Shapiro, the wife of former Illinois governor Samuel Harvey Shapiro passed away today in Kankakee, Il after which she was buried at the Waldheim Cemetery.

1984(7th of Nisan, 5744): Joseph G. Weisberg, editor and publisher of The Jewish Advocate, passed away Massachusetts General Hospital after becoming ill at his desk in Boston, where The Advocate is published. He was 73 years old. Mr. Weisberg, a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Law School, was head of The Advocate, an English- language weekly, for more than four decades. He was a founder and past president of the American Jewish Press Association and a director of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a worldwide news service.

1984(7th of Nisan, 5744): In Portland, OR, 76 year old Sheindel Reznick, the wife of Hyman Reznik and the mother of Naomi Blumberg passed away.

1984: Refusnik,“Ida Nudel was summoned to the police station for interrogation.
1985(18th of Nisan, 5745): Fourth Day of Pesach

1985: In an example of Jew slamming a Jew, Frank Rich panned “Leader of the Pack” the musical with music and lyrics by Ellie Greenwich.

1986: Fred Friendly began serving as Montgomery Fellow at Dartmouth College today.

1987(10thof Nisan, 5747): Eighty-three year old Louis Nathan Cohen, the Irish born son of Leba Rubin Cohen and Joseph Morris Cohen, the husband Edith Greenlee Saunders Cohen and the Joyce, David and Phillip Nathan Cohen passed away today in Albany, NY after which he was buried in the Riverside Cemetery.

1988: Pitcher Jose Bautista, a native of the Dominican Republic, played his first major league game with the Baltimore Orioles.

1988(22ndof Nisan, 5748): Eighth Day of Pesach and Shabbat

1988(22ndof Nisan, 5748): Eighty-one year old Sydney Harry “Syd” Cohen who spent parts of three seasons during the 1930’s pitching for the Washington Senators where his only act of distinction was striking out Babe Ruth in 1934, making him the last American League pitcher to whiff the great Bambino passed away today.

1989(4th of Nisan, 5749): Eighty-six year old Moshe Ziffer, a native of Przemyśl, who came to Palestine in 1919 where he became an artist and sculptor whose works included busts of Einstein, Ben-Gurion and Chaim Weismann passed away today.

1989: In the following article published today entitled “Unearthing a Roman City in Israel,” Matthew J. Reisz described the history of Beit Shean including the latest archeological discoveries at this ancient city whose ties to the Jewish people date back to the days of Saul and David.

1990: “Telling the Seder’s Story In the Voice of a Woman” published today provides Nadine Brozan’s description of the celebration of Pesach with a unique, feminist twist.

1990(14th of Nisan, 5750): Louis Rappaport, called Calev Ben-David and asked him to join him in interviewing Barbara Walters just hours before the start of the first Seder.

1990: Twenty year old pitcher Scott Radinsky made his major league debut with the Chicago White Sox.

1991: Statements made in an interview with James Randi published in the International Herald Tribune resulted in a suit being filed by illusionists Uri Geller.

1992: Nigel Lawson retired as Member of Parliament for Blaby.

1992: Peter Benjamin Mandelson began serving as an MP for Hartlepool.

1993: “This Boy’s Life” a film version of the memoir by Tobias Wolff who did not find that his was Jewish until he was an adult co-starring Ellen Barkin was released today in the United States.

1993(18thof Nisan, 5763): Fourth Day of Pesach

1993(18thof Nisan, 5763): Ninety year old Rabbinic heavyweight Joseph Ber Soloveitchik passed away today in Boston.

1993(18thof Nisan, 5763): Eight-six year old middle-weight Abie Bain who lost a title bout to Maxie Rosenbloom passed away today.

1995(9th of Nisan, 5755): Alisa Flatow, 20, was riding a public (Jewish) bus near the Israeli settlement of Kfar Darom when an Arab suicide bomber plowed his car into that bus.  Alisa and seven Israeli soldiers, all under the age of 21, were killed.  Alisa was one of 20 American victims of the so-called “Peace” process! 

1995(9th of Nisan, 5755)Staff-Sgt. Yuval Regev, 20, of Holon; Staff-Sgt. Meir Scheinwald, 20, of Safed; Sgt. Itai Diener, 19, of Rishon Lezion; Sgt. Zvi Narbat, 19, of Rishon Lezion; Sgt. Netta Sufrin, 20, of Rishon Lezion; Cpl. Tal Nir, 19, of Kibbutz Miflasim; Sgt. Avraham Arditi, 19, of Jerusalem; and Alisa Flatow, 20, of the United States were killed when a bus was hit by an explosives-laden van near Kfar Darom in the Gaza Strip. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

1997(2ndof Nisan, 5757): Eighty year old screenwriter and author Helene Hanff best known for 84, Charing Cross Road passed away in New York City.

1998(13th of Nisan, 5758): Fast of the First Born takes place today because the 14thof Nisan falls on a Friday.

1999: “Never Been Kissed” a comedy co-starring Michael Vartan, Leelee Sobieski and James Franco was released in the United States today.

2000: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including the recently released paperback editions of “For the Relief of Unbearable Urges” by Nathan Englander in which the author “combines a compassionate grasp of the Orthodox Jewish world with the skeptical irreverence of one estranged from yet still oddly defined by it,” “The Last of the Just” by Andre Schwarz-Bart a French novel that chronicles the agonies of a Jewish family from 12th-century England to Nazi Germany,” and “Picture This” by Joseph Heller.

2001(16thof Nisan, 5761): Second Day of Pesach

2001(16thof Nisan, 5761): Eighty-six year old Communist Party member and Buchenwald survivor Emil Carlebach passed away today in Frankfurt am Main.

2002(27th of Nisan, 5762):  Yom Ha Shoah

2002: During Operation Defensive Shield a battalion commanded by Major Oded Golomb was ambushed by terrorists in Jenin

2002(27thof Nisan, 5762):  Maj.(res.) Oded Golomb, 22, of Kibbutz Nir David; Capt.(res.) Ya’akov Azoulai, 30, of Migdal Ha’emek; Lt.(res.) Dror Bar, 28, of Kibbutz Einat; Lt.(res.) Eyal Yoel, 28, of Kibbutz Ramat Rachel; 1st Sgt.(res.) Tiran Arazi, 33, of Hadera; 1st Sgt.(res.) Yoram Levy, 33, of Elad; 1st Sgt.(res.) Avner Yaskov, 34, of Be’er Sheva; Sgt. 1st Class (res.) Ronen Alshochat, 27, of Ramle; gt. 1st Class (res.) Eyal Eliyahu Azouri, 27, of Ramat Gan; Sgt. 1st Class (res.) Amit Busidan, 22, of Bat Yam; Sgt. 1st Class (res.) Menashe Hava, 23, of Kfar Sava; Sgt. 1st Class (res.) Shmuel Danny Meizlish, 27, of Moshav Hemed; Sgt. 1st Class (res.) Eyal Zimmerman, 22, of Ra’anana were killed today while fighting at Jenin. (Jewish Virtual Library)

2002(27thof Nisan, 5762): Thirty year old Major Assaf Assoulin of Tel Aviv was killed during fighting at Nablus.

2002(27thof Nisan, 5762): Twenty-one year old Staff Sergeant Malik was killed today.

2002: A pro-Israel drew 4,000 supporters today in Miami Beach, FL.

2003: “A Little Plantain At the Passover Table”“How to Boil an Egg: So Simple, but Not Easy” “Nostalgia, the Secret Ingredient of Matzo Brei” today provide food history and cooking tips for the upcoming Passover holiday.

2003: Said Aldin al-Arabid, the Hamas leader whom has been accused “of directing dozens of attacks that killed many Israelis when the Subaru he was riding in was reported hit by a salvo of two missiles fired from an Israeli aircraft.

2004: “The Alamo” an epic about the Texas war for independence co-produced by Brian Grazer and with a script co-authored by Leslie Bohem was released in the United States today.

2004: U.S. premiere of “The Girl Next Door” with a screenplay co-authored by Stuart Blumberg.

2005(29th of Adar II, 5765): Fifty-eight year old author Andrea Dworkin who was variously an anarchist, anti-war activist, radical feminists and an outspoken critic of pornography which viewed as being a cause of the violent attacks suffered by women passed away today. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

2006:  The Washington Post featured a review of Absolute Convictions: My Father, a City and the Conflict that Divided America by Eyal Press.  The book is an account of the battle over abortion in the United States.  The book is written by the son of Dr. Shalom Press, one of two doctors who performed abortions in Buffalo, New York.  The other was Dr. Barnett Slepian who was murdered in his kitchen when he came home from Friday night Shabbat services. Interestingly enough, the local leaders of the anti-abortion movement are twin brother who had grown up in a Jewish home and had converted to Christianity before becoming “pro-life.”

2006: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky; translated by Sandra Smith

2006: Concentration camp survivor Emil Alperin of the Ukraine is pictured in an AP photo laying down flowers at Buchenwald near Weimar in eastern Germany as part of the commemoration ceremonies for the 61st anniversary of the liberation of the former Nazi concentration camp.

2007: Haaretz reported that archeologists digging in northern Israel have discovered evidence of a 3,000-year-old beekeeping industry, including remnants of ancient honeycombs, beeswax and what they believe are the oldest intact beehives ever found. The findings in the ruins of the city of Rehov include 30 intact hives dating to around 900 B.C.E., archaeologist Amihai Mazar of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem told The Associated Press. He said it offers unique evidence that an advanced honey industry existed in the Holy Land at the time of the Bible. Beekeeping was widely practiced in the ancient world, where honey used for medicinal and religious purposes as well as for food, and beeswax was used to make molds for metal and to create surfaces to write on. While portrayals of bees and beekeeping are known in ancient artwork, nothing similar to the Rehov hives has ever been found before, Mazar said. The beehives, made of straw and unbaked clay, have a hole at one end to allow the bees in and out and a lid on the other end to allow beekeepers access to the honeycombs inside. They were found in orderly rows, three high, in a room that could have accommodated around 100 hives, Mazar said. The Bible repeatedly refers to Israel as a land of milk and honey, but that’s believed to refer to honey made from dates and figs – there is no mention of honeybee cultivation. But the new find shows that the Holy Land was home to a highly developed beekeeping industry nearly 3,000 years ago.”You can tell that this was an organized industry, part of an organized economy, in an ultra-organized city,” Mazar said.
At the time the beehives were in use, Mazar believes Rehov had around 2,000 residents, a mix of Israelites, Canaanites and others. Ezra Marcus, an expert on the ancient Mediterranean world at Haifa University, said the finding was a unique glimpse into ancient beekeeping. Marcus was not involved in the Rehov excavation. “We have seen depictions of beekeeping in texts and ancient art from the Near East, but this is the first time we’ve been able to actually feel and see the industry,” Marcus said. The finding is especially unique, Marcus said, because of its location in the middle of a thriving city – a strange place for thousands of bees. “This might have been because the city’s ruler wanted the industry under his control,” Marcus said, or because the beekeeping industry was linked to residents’ religious practices, as might be indicated by an altar decorated with fertility figurines that archaeologists found alongside the hives.

2007(21st of Nisan, 5767: Seventh Day of Pesach: Reform Jews recite Yizkor on what is for them, is the last day of the holiday.

2007: In “Girls: Israel’s Racy New PR Strategy Israel” published today Kevin Peraino describes Israel’s flirtation with a new public-relations strategy”

2008: Madeleine M. Kunin, the former governor of Vermont, the first Jewish  woman governor and an ambassador under the Clinton administration, discusses and signs her new book, “Pearls, Politics, and Power: How Women Can Win and Lead,” at Busboys and Poets in Washington, D.C.

2008(4th of Nisan, 5768): 21-year-old Staff Sgt. Bisan Sayef from the village of Jatt was killed during clashes with Palestinian gunmen.

2008: April will be known as Jewish Heritage Month in New Jersey, thanks to legislation Gov. Jon Corzine signed at Passaic’s Ahavas Israel in front of a multi-ethnic group.

2009: In “So You Think Know Matzo?” published today in Time magazine, Claire Suddath provides a brief history of this famous unleavened bread.,8599,1890268,00.html

2009(15 Nisan 5769): First Day of Pesach

2009(15th of Nisan, 5769): US President Barack Obama will celebrate Passover tonight with staff and friends in what is believed to be the first White House Seder attended by an American president. President Obama is not the first US President to attend a Seder.  That honor belongs to William Howard Taft who was the first president to attend a Seder while in office. In 1912, when he visited Providence, RI, he participated in the family Seder of Colonel Harry Cutler, first president of the National Jewish Welfare Board. Why did Taft go?  Was it an act of brotherhood and good will or was it an act of political fence mending brought on by Taft’s support of measures that were harmful to Jewish immigration.  Since 1912 was an election year and Taft was faced with a stiff challenge from Theodore Roosevelt, he needed all of the support he get from Jewish voters who had supported the Republican Party.  

2010(25thof Nisan, 5770): Ninety-year old British soldier and diplomat Sir Peter Ramsbotham whose “mother was the daughter of Jewish banker Sgismund de Stein of London” passed away today.

2010: The Westchester Film Festival is scheduled to show “Hello Goodbye” a romantic comedy about a Jewish couple from Paris who go through a midlife crisis and move to Tel Aviv staring Gérard Depardieu and Fanny Ardant.

2010:  Three days after premiering in New York “Date Night,” a comedy directed and co-produced by Shawn Levy was released to theatres throughout the United States.

2010: Rich Recht is scheduled to lead a musical and interactive Shabbat evening at the Historic Sixth and I Synagogue in Washington, D.C.

2011: Vadim Gluzman is scheduled to perform with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.

2011: Machaya Klezmer, “the premier klezmer band,” is scheduled to perform at The Jewish Study Center Spring Fund Raiser at Tifereth Israel Congregation in Washington, DC.

2011: In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Jewish community gathered for shiva minyan at the home of Kate and Gary Goldstein in memory of Gary’s father, Harold Goldstein of blessed memory.

2011: Hamas said today that it “did not intend to target Israeli schoolchildren when they fired a rocket at a bus two days ago, critically wounding a teenager and moderately wounding the bus driver, in an attack that sparked the latest round of border fighting.”

2011: Today the Israel Defense Forces spokesman’s office confirmed that IAF jets attacked three top Hamas officials in the Gaza strip, as well as a smuggling tunnel and a truck carrying ammunition, after southern Israel suffered a barrage of rockets overnight.

2011: This morning two additional Grad rockets were fired at Ofakim and 25 mortar shells were fired into the Eshkol Regional Council. Fifteen Grad-model rockets had been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory during the night.  The Iron Dome rocket-defense system intercepted five of them in the Beersheba and Ashkelon areas, Israel Radio reported.

2011(5thof Nisan, 5771): Eight-six year old move director Sidney Lumet passed away today.

2012: In the third and final event in Adam Gopnik’s “Table Comes First” series, Padma Lakshmi and Amanda Hesser are scheduled to discuss the unique strengths and differences of our culinary masters and mavens at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan.

2012: At least 70,000 people from Israel and abroad gathered at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City today for the traditional priestly blessing.

 2013: “The Last Flight of Petr Ginz” is scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival

2013: An exhibit of letters, manuscripts, images, and objects about the life and literary career of Hyam Plutzik opened at Connecticut’s Trinity College of which he was one of the first Jewish alums.

2013: “Melting Away” an Israeli film with English subtitles is scheduled to be shown at the 17thMandell JCC Hartford Jewish Film Fest.

2013: In Mandeville, LA, the Northshore Jewish Congregation is scheduled to host its Yom HaShaoah Holocaust Remembrance Program. 

2013: Jack Tytell, an American-born Israeli Jew who was convicted in January of murdering two Palestinians and wounding two Israelis, was sentenced today by the Jerusalem District Court to two consecutive life sentences plus 30 years jail time, and was ordered to pay NIS 680,000 ($190,000) compensation to the victims’ families.

2013: Jewish Agency head Natan Sharansky was in the United States today to present to American Jewish leaders part of his proposal to resolve the issue of nontraditional prayer at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, which will reportedly include a greatly enlarged section for egalitarian services.

2014: “Holy Ground: Woody Guthrie’s Yiddish Connection” is scheduled to best shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2014: “Women Unchained” is scheduled to be shown at The JCC Rockland International Jewish Film Festival.

2014(9th of Nisan, 5774): Eighty-seven year old Jacob Birnbaum passed away today.

2014: The Thaler Holocaust Memorial Fund chaired by Dr. Bob Silber is scheduled to co-host a speech by Holocaust survivor Cesare Frustaci at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

2015: In Orono, ME, Lewis Black is scheduled to perform at the Collins Center for Arts at the Univeristy of Main.

2015: “When a Plane Seat Next to a Woman Is Against Orthodox Faith” published today described the conditions aboard planes flying to Israel when men insist on preferential treatment because they do not want to sit next to women for religious reasons.

2015: Shoah survivor Margit Meissner is scheduled to speak today at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

2015: “Blumenthal,” “A Place in Heaven” and “Famous Nathan” are scheduled to be shown at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2015: The Argentine government announced today that it “will declassify all intelligence documents about the March 17, 1992, attack on the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 29 people and wounded hundreds. (As reported by JTA)

2015: Vandals smashed a window and scrawled anti-Semitic messages at Copenhagen’s only kosher deli, police said today, less than two months after a man was killed in an attack outside a synagogue on the Danish city.”

2015: Funeral series are scheduled to take place for Bernice Tannenbaum, the past National President of Hadassah who passed away at the age of 101 at Riverside Memorial Chapel in New York City.

2016(1stof Nisan, 5776):  Rosh Chodesh Nisan and Shabbat HaChodesh.  For more see

2016: “Rock in the Red Zone” is scheduled to be shown at the Hartford Jewish Film Festival.

2016: “JeruZalem” and “Baba Joon” are scheduled to be shown for the first time at the Westchester Jewish Film Festival.

2016: “Laugh Lines” and “Suicide” are scheduled to be shown at the Northern Virginia Jewish Film Festival

2017: “In an statement timed just ahead of Passover, the Temple Mount Sifting Project said today it had found a stone finger that may have belonged to a Bronze Age Egyptian statue, but conceded it wasn’t sure.”

2017: The New York Times published reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir by Ariel Levy and Our Short History by Lauren Grodstein,

2017: The Autohaus on Edens is scheduled to be the venue “for an exclusive event benefiting the Women’s Leadership Committee of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center.”

2017: In “Keep Your Politics Out of Passover,” published today Shmuel Rosner, the political editor at The Jewish Journal and a senior fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute examines the problems with using what are supposed to be unifying Jewish customs and ceremonies to promote partisan political views.

2018: JW3 is scheduled to host a screening of “Bye, Bye, Germany” in London today.

2018: The Center for Jewish History and the American Jewish Historical Society are scheduled to host Psoy Korolenko and Anna Shternshis performing “satirical Yiddish anti-fascist songs from the lost Archive of the Bureau for Jewish Culture at the Ukrainian Academy of Science, written during World War II in the Soviet Union”

2018: The Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players which was founded by Jens Nygaard who directed the Washington Heights YW-YMHA concerts for 25 years is scheduled to perform “The Great vs. The Five” featuring the music of Tchaikovsky versus the music of Mily Balakirev, César Cui, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Modest Mussorgsky, and Alexander Borodin.  

2018: JW3 is scheduled to host a screening of “1945” in London today.

2018: “From Poland to Israel: The March of the Living” sponsored by the Temple Emanu-El Streicker center is scheduled to begin today.

2019: The Skirball Center is scheduled to host the first session of “Modern Jewish Philosophy” during which Dr. Daniel Rynhold examines “what got Spinoza in trouble, and how thinkers like Moses Mendelssohn, Hermann Cohen, Martin Buber and Franz Rosenzweig responded.”

2019: In New York, the City Winery is scheduled to host an evening, with Keren Ann (Zeidel) the Caeserea born singer and composer.

2019: The Center for Jewish History is scheduled to host an “Educators Open House” where, among other things attendees will receive “Ready-to-Use lesson plans and free access to online lessons and lectures.”

2019: The YIVO Institute for Jewish Research is scheduled to host the “debut of ‘And All The Days Were Purple,’ new album by composer Alex Weiser featuring Yiddish and English poems set to music.”

 2019: As Israelis prepare to go to the polls, scientists make corrections in the orbit of the Beresheet lunar lander in preparation for the events of April 11.,7340,L-5491242,00.html

2020(15th of Nisan, 5780): First Day of Pesach; for more see

2020: Based on the number of funerals carried out by burial societies, where covid-19 appeared on the deceased’s death certificate as of the last figures released before Pesach, at least 152 Jews in the UK have died because of the virus.

2020: “Rabbi Danny Gottlieb and Ricki Weintraub of S.F. Congregation Beth Israel Judea are scheduled to host a Seder on Facebook Live.

2020: As of seven o’clock this morning Israelis are scheduled to be able to leave their houses after having been confined to their homes since six o’clock yesterday evening.

2020: In the evening, the ASF Young Leaders are scheduled to host a “Virtual Sephardic Passover Seder.”

2020: 155th anniversary of the Confederate surrender at Appomattox where Grant showed the kind of magnanimity that he hoped would quickly bind up the nations’ wounds — a hope that others defeated 

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