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This Day In Jewish History

by Mitchell A. Levin

388: Magnus Maximus, an Hispanic usurper to the throne of the western Roman Empire passed away. During his disputed reign Maximus issued an edict of which censured Christians at Rome for burning down a Jewish synagogue which was condemned by Bishop Ambrose who said people exclaimed: ‘the emperor has become a Jew’.

388: Magnus Maximus, an Hispanic usurper to the throne of the western Roman Empire passed away. During his disputed reign Maximus issued an edict of which censured Christians at Rome for burning down a Jewish synagogue which was condemned by Bishop Ambrose who said people exclaimed: ‘the emperor has become a Jew’.

430: St. Augustine of Hippo passed away. Augustine believed that Jews should be allowed to survive in a Christian world to provide credence to roots of Christianity. But Jews should live at best as “second class” citizens in that Christian world to serve as a reminder of their fall from God’s favor for rejecting Jesus as the Son of God and as proof that God had made the Christians the new Chosen People.

1189: The Crusaders begin the Siege of Acre under Guy of Lusignan. This two year long siege was part of the Third Crusade which is known as a confrontation between England’s King Richard I and Saladin. The siege followed the Crusader defeat at the Battle of the Horns of Hittin but was followed by Crusader victories near Jaffa. In the end, the Moslems kept Jerusalem, the Jews of England suffered under the rule of Prince John in the absence of the Crusading Richard and the Jewish population of Eretz Israel suffered further depredations and despoliation.

1349: Six thousand Jews are killed in Mainz after having been accused of being the cause of the plague.

1378: Having been promised the payment of 20,000 gulden in “voluntary taxes” in 1377 by the Jewish community, the city of Worms “was granted the right of extending protection to the Jews.”

1453: Zbigniev Olesnicki, Bishiop of Cracow and a heretic hunter named Capistrano, began a six month long campaign turn Poland’s King Casimir against the Hussite heretics and the Jews of Cracow.

1481: John II of Portugal who chose Abraham Zacuto to serve as Royal Astronomer, began his reign as King of Portugal. 

1511: The Portuguese conquer Malacca. “Malacca, Malaysia was in the 16th century a Jewish hub not only for Portuguese Jews but also for Jews from around the Red Sea and the Malabar. With its synagogues and rabbis, Jewish Culture in Malacca was alive and well. Visible Jewish presence existed in Malacca right up to the 18th century. Due to the Portuguese inquisition a lot of the Jews of Malacca assimilated into the Malacca Portuguese (Eurasian) community. They are a creole community often referred to as Kristang; and their Portuguese dialect Papia Kristang.”

1521: The Ottoman Turks occupy Belgrade. “The first written records of the presence of Jews in Belgrade date back to the 16th century when the city came under Ottoman control. “At that time Belgrade boasted a strong Jewish Ladino-speaking Sephardic community mostly settled in the central Belgrade neighborhood called Dorćol. The city's Ashkenazi Jews, many of them from Central Europe and nearby Austria-Hungary, mostly lived near the Sava river in the area where the current active synagogue stands.” Even with the official “second class” status accorded to Jews under the laws of Islam, the Ottoman Empire offered a haven for Jews who had been expelled from Spain and/or were fleeing the clutches of the Inquisition.

1565: St. Augustine, the oldest European settlement in what is now the United States, is established on the coast of Florida. According to Marcia Zerivitz, Founding Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Jewish Museum of Florida, "It is possible that Jews were living in St. Augustine as conversos or secret Jews when Ponce de Leon first discovered Florida. There are Sephardic names among those who lived there in the 1500s. This is nearly 100 years prior to the first settlement of Jews in New York in 1654. Documented Jewish history in Florida began in 1763 when the Treaty of Paris was signed at the conclusion of the French and Indian War. In that treaty, Florida was taken from the Spanish and given to the British. Until that time, Jews had been prohibited from living in Florida."

1619: Ferdinand II is elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. The Jesuit trained monarch was an arch foe of the Protestants who ruled during the first 18 years of the Thirty Years War. His treatment of the Jews was uneven to say the least. It was influenced by his hatred of the Protestants, the needs to finance the war and his Jesuit training. He protected the right of Jews to live in Worms and Frankfort because the Protestants had tried to drive them out of the city. He warned his generals not treat the Jews harshly since they were a source of funds for their fight. This protection came at a high price as can be seen by the 40,000 florins that the Jews of Bohemia were forced to contribute annually to support the war effort. He did play a role in the unfortunate affair surrounding Lipmann Heller, but the original cause of the affair was one of jealousy in the Prague Jewish community. Once the emperor was involved no good could come of the matter. He did order the Rabbi brought to court in chains and even though he was found innocent of the charges, his Jewish opponents would not stop their attacks which resulted in the Emperor removing him as the Chief Rabbi in the Bohemian city. Now that the Jews had brought themselves to the Catholic monarch’s attention, he issued a decree in February, 1630, compelling the Jews to listen to conversation sermons every Saturday morning between eight and nine. Two hundred Jews of both sexes had to be in attendance and at least forty of them had to be between 15 and twenty years of age. The Jesuit trained monarch hoped these measures would lead to mass conversion of Jews. Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for the Jews, the Jesuits to whom he entrusted this task were more concerned with fighting Protestants than converting Jews.

1655: Peter Stuyvesant barred Jews from military service. Asher Levy led the fight for Jews to able to serve as part of the local guard force. He rejected the notion of paying a special tax in lieu of military service. Service in the militia was the sign of first class citizenship. In a resolution of the New Amsterdam Council, Stuyvesant writes, "Whether the Jewish people who reside in this city, should also train and mount guard with the citizen's bands, this was taken into consideration, and deliberated upon…" The result was that the Dutch members of the citizen guard had a "disinclination" and "unwillingness" to be on guard with Jews in the same guardhouse. They also pointed out that Jews were "not counted among the citizens…"

1703 The Aleinu prayer was prohibited in Brandenberg, Germany. Aleinu,( עָלֵינוּ) composed by Rav (one of the great Talmudist (d. 247)) had been part of the ritual prayer for almost 1500 years. It served as a focal point for anti-Jewish attacks. Although the wording "For they bow down to emptiness and vanity and to a God that cannot save" which was taken from Isaiah (45:20) referred to idol-worshipers, some Christian leaders claimed it was an attack on Christianity. The part of the prayer was eventually eradicated from the Ashkenazic siddur (prayerbook) entirely and only reprinted recently.

1766: Birthdate of Simon Edler von Lamel the native of Bohemia who became a leading Austrian merchant while working to improve the conditions of his fellow Jews as could be seen by his efforts to reduce their taxes. (Something that was not intended to benefit him)

1789: In France, adoption of the declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

1797: Four months after the entry of the French army into Padua Italy, the provisional government decreed that "Jews are able to live in every part of the city." Jews enlisted in the National Guard and the main street in the ghetto was changed to Via Libera. Unfortunately as in most parts of Italy, the newly won freedom only lasted until the arrival of Austrian troops 8 months later.

1799: Birthdate of Immanuel Wolf who gained fame as German Jewish educator Immanuel Wohlwill.

1828: Birthdate of Count Leo Tolstoy. As one commentator has said, Tolstoy did not like Jews, but he did not hate them which made him a cut above other Russian authors such as Dostoyevsky. In 1881 he reluctantly signed a private letter to the Czar protesting a pogrom and publicly protested the infamous pogrom at Kishinev. On the other hand, he held Jews responsible, in part, for loss of the war with Japan. In the twilight of his career he expressed a desire to write how the teachings of Jesus, “who was not a Jew” were replaced by the teachings of Paul, who was a Jew.

1833: The British enact the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 which put abolished slavery throughout the British Empire. One of the driving forces behind this was William Wilberforce  who also was a leader of London’s Jews Society, a missionary Christian group who advocated the return of the Jewish people to Eretz Israel. 

1840: During the Damascus Affair, Mehemet Ali’s personal physician, who was Jewish, removed a boil from the royal buttock. During the procedure, the doctor is reported to have told the Khedive that he would soon need all of his strength including the support of six million Jewish voices raised in his support.

1840: In attempt to avoid appearing to be caving into pressure from the European powers, Mehmet Ali dispatched an order to Damascus order that the Jewish prisoners should be set free much to the joy of Montefiore, Cremiuex and the Jews of Egypt, where he three synagogues in Alexandria “resounded with prayers of thanksgiving and blessing for Mehment Al…” The joy of the Jewish leaders would be dampened when they read the text of the document which “implied that the Jews were guilty” and that they were being released as an act of mercy.

1845: French banker Jules Isaac Mires sued his brother Alphonse, a wine merchants and his brother Edward in the Court of Assizes.

1853: Henry David Thoreau’s journal entry described what would become “the ancestral vine to all of Lower East Side sugary sweet kosher wine.”  “I detect my neighbor’s ripening grapes by the scent twenty rods off, though they are concealed behind his house. Every passer knows of them. Perhaps he takes me to his back door a week afterward and shows me with an air of mystery his clusters concealed under the leaves, which he thinks will be ripe in a day or two—as if it were a secret. He little thinks that I smelled them before he did.” (As reported by Laurie Gwen Shapiro)

1860: A column entitled General City News published today reported that “a new Jewish Congregation has been organized in this City, which for now is worshiping in Cooper Institute, Room No. 24 in the Cooper Institute, under the guidance of Rabbi Bondi, “whose learning and popularity will no doubt tend to advance this organization to the foremost rank among the Israelitish Congregations in this City.”

1864: Ferdinand Johann Gottlieb Lassalle was mortally wounded when he fought duel with Count von Racowitza, the brother of Helene von Dönniges. The two had fallen in love, but her family opposed the marriage.  

1869: Twelve year old Gottlieb Schumacher, the son of Jacob Schumach, arrived in Haifa from Buffalo today.

1871: In New York, the B’nai Brith held their annual meeting at the Masonic Hall during which they elected officers for the coming year and heard the Treasurer reported that the balance on hand was $46,378.29.

1873: A man named Irving who was in a San Francisco jail confessed to being the killer of New York businessman and Jewish community leader, Benjamin Nathan.

1874: Based on information that first appeared in the London Echo, that Edgardo Mortara is now Father Pius Mortara, an Augustine friary in the Monastery of Notre Dame de Beacuhene. At the age of six, Mortara was secretly baptized by a servant girl and then “kidnapped: by agents of the Papacy who raised him as a Catholic.

1874: In New York Fabian and Theresa Saxe gave birth to Martin Saxe, the New York State Senator who introduced a bill that would have banned public announcements such as were used by numerous establishments stating that "Jewish patronage is not solicited." The bill was inspired by an episode involving Bertha Rayner Frank in which she was refused a room at a hotel in Atlantic City. (

1878: As Louisiana continued to grapple with the latest Yellow Fever Epidemic, it was reported today that Messrs. Levy, Loeb, Scheuer & Co. of New York has received and forwarded to Turo Infirmary and the Hebrew Benevolent Association of New Orleans the sum of $65.00

1878: The Hebrew Ladies’ Benevolent Society of Montgomery, Alabama, sent $100 to those suffering during the Yellow Fever Epidemic.

1880: Leopold de Rothschild was present at the cricket match played at Ascot House which lead to the family taking a leading role “in the formation of the Buckinghamshire County Cricket Club.”

1880: “Jews in Germany” published today cites information from the Pall Mall Gazette that “the silly season in Germany promises again to be enlivened by a crusade again the Jews.”

1881: It was reported today that Richard Andree, a German ethnographist who has been studying the world’s Jewish population for the last 11 years says there are 6,080,000 Jews in the world.  This includes 403,000 in Africa, 183,000 in Asia, 308,000 in American and 20,000 Australia.  His figures do include the Falashas or “pseudo-Jews.”

1882: The New York Times reviewed The Prophets of Israel and Their Place in History by W. Robertson Smith.

1882: It was reported that there 2,525 students enrolled in the various Sunday Schools hosted by New York’s Temples and Synagogues.  (This is a misleading number for anybody who knows how Jews educate their children)

1883: “Affairs In Foreign Lands” published today described riots against the Jews in Hungary and Russia where recent attacks on the Jews at Ekaterinoslav destroyed 346 houses and caused damage valued at 611,000 rubles and attacks on the Jews of Berchadi destroyed 80 houses leaving the inhabitants “without shelter and suffering great privations.

1883(25th of Av, 5643): Eighty-six year old Solomon Plessner whose controversial views forced him to leave Berlin and settle at Posen in 1843 where he served as a rabbi until he passed away today.

1883: As violence aimed at Jews worsened it was reported today that “the Russian government has made a serious effort “to suppress the outbreaks against the Jews” while “there are many indications that the authorities at Vienna and Budapest are not seriously trying to protect the Jews.”  (In other words, for once the Czar is trying to do something to protect his Jews, while Emperor Franz Josef is not) 

1883: Following their meeting last month at the British Museum where they discussed the antiquity of a scroll of Deuteronomy recently discovered by Moses Shapira, he wrote to Edward A. Bond from Amsterdam asking him to reconsider his evaluation of the scroll contending that “the sin of believing in a false document is much greater than disbelieving the truth.  The tendency of showing great scholarship by detecting forgery is rather great in our age.”

1884: It was reported today that Adolph Meyer, a wealthy Jewish cotton merchants, is challenging Representative Carlton Hunt for the 1stCongressional District in Louisiana.  Meyer is a Democrat while Hunt is a Republican supported by the sugar cane and rice planters.  (Meyer would have to wait until 1901 before he would win a seat in Congress)

1887: Lizzie Kauffman, the young German-Jewess whose body had been found floating in the river at Philadelphia is scheduled to be buried today by the Hebrew Association.

1888: It was reported today that Dr. John T. Nagle, the Deputy Register of Records at the Sanitary Headquarters has complained to Commissioner John Griffin that a Polish Jew was buried at Cypress Hills surrounded by “a few boards” rather than in a coffin.  He considered this burial, which is common among Polish Jews to be “unsanitary.”

1889(1st of Elul, 5649): Rosh Chodesh Elul

1890: As of today, it was reported that the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children has received donations totaling $8,000.17 including $309.70 from Isaac Stern, $306 from Benjamin Stern and $5 from Herman Mendel.

1890: Adolph Eisner who has been Superintendent of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum in Brooklyn for the last six years left the asylum today “telling his wife that he was going to Coney Island.”

1891: Jewish immigrants from Russia, most of whom are penniless and do not speak English have begun arriving in Detroit, Michigan.

1891: A Jewish agricultural colony was established in New Jersey. This was one of several attempts at Jewish settlement in the Americas. The failure of most of these projects confirmed the view that Jews needed a historical and religious link to the soil upon which they would work in order for them to succeed.

1892: Today is the last day for the accused murders of Jake Marks to appeal for a writ of habeas corpus and avoid extradition from Canada to the United States.  The victim and the accused (Blank and Rosenweig) are all Jewish.

1892: Four year old Ida Samyan, the daughter of Russian Jewish couple who had just arrived in London from Hamburg was admitted to the London “suffering with the symptoms of Asiatic Cholera.

1892: “The Prophets of Israel” published today provides a detailed review of Prophètes d'Israel par James Darmesteter published by Calmann-Levy.

1892: In Deadwood, South Dakota, the Hebrew Cemetery Association purchased a section in the new cemetery for Jewish burials for the sum of $200. Hebrew Hill, as the Jewish area was called locally, is located at the top right-hand side of the cemetery and is accessible via a pathway marked "Jerusalem," which is most likely a Masonic, rather than a Jewish, reference. While there are more than 80 Jews buried up on Hebrew Hill, or Mount Zion as it was known among the community, Deadwood's most famous Jewish citizen, Sol Star, is not among them. In accordance with the wishes of his family, Star lies in the Mount Sinai Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri. Two hundred and fifty meters up from the Jewish section lies the grave of Deadwood's first sheriff and Star's long-time friend and business partner, Seth Bullock. Among the Jews who are interred on Hebrew Hill is Harris Franklin, né Finkelstein. Franklin was said to have been Deadwood's wealthiest man, having made his fortune - estimated at $5 million - from the liquor business and the mining industry. Given his status and wealth, it is unsurprising that the Franklin headstone is the largest in the cemetery. His name is perpetuated in Deadwood through the Franklin Hotel in which he was the largest investor. The Franklin name is also prominent in the city's annals owing to Harris's son, Nathan, who became the second Jewish mayor of Deadwood in 1914, running on an anti-Prohibition platform. Also buried in the cemetery is the Colman family, who arrived in Deadwood from Germany in the spring of 1877. In 1878, Nathan Colman (born Kugelmann) was appointed justice of the peace, an office he held until his death in 1906. Colman was also the lay religious leader for the Jewish community and officiated at the first Jewish wedding in the Black Hills, when Rebecca Reubens married David Holzman

1894: It was reported today that there are 5,000 Orthodox Jews in Newark, NJ who worship at seven different synagogues. 

1894: As the leaders of the Central Labor Federation and the Central Labor Union compete for power and membership, Abraham Cahan, the leader of the Jewish Socialists has expressed his dissatisfaction with the leadership of the Central Labor Federation and wants his supporters to join the Central Labor Union.

1895: The Board of Health has been told to improve the safety of the bathhouse at 26 Ridge Street following the accidental drowning of 4 year old Sarah Rubin who had fallen into the tank that had no railing around it.

1897: At two o’clock this morning nephew of Charles Fleischmann” went to Bellevue Hospital and asked that a doctor come out to his yacht, the Hiawatha and examine his uncle who seemed to be quite ill.  After examining him, the doctor “intimated that his condition was serious.”

1898: “Many Themes Stir Paris” published today described the happenings in the French capital including Jules Guerin’s decision to start a new anti-Semitic paper L’Antijuif

1898: The Second Zionist Congress convenes in Basel and hears an address from Dr. Max Nordeau. Herzl's father is among the delegates.

1898: Abram Herschberger “installed as the rabbi at the North Side Temple on Goethe Street in Chicago, Illinois.

1899: “Light From A Russian General On The Dreyfus Case” published today provided information about the soon to be published memoirs of the late General Annenkoff which “include certain evidence tending to prove that Henry and Esterhazy delivered War Office documents to the agents of several foreign powers.”

1900: Birthdate of Alexander Zeitlin who was a leading figure in the Air Force’s Heavy Press Program which “enhanced the US defense industry's capacity to forge large complex components out of light alloys such as magnesium and aluminum.”

1902: Birthdate of Leo Hollander, the native of Hungary who married Goldie Gertrude Finegold Hollander and eventually settled in Indianapolis, Indiana.

1903: Birthdate of famed psychiatrist Bruno Bettelheim. Born in Austria in 1903, Bettelheim survived the death camps. He is “best known for his pioneering work with emotionally disturbed and autistic children. Bettelheim’s views on the Jewish response to the Holocaust were controversial to say the least. On one point he does seem to track with “Man’s Search for Meaning” when he writes that those who survived the death camps were able to do so because they believed in some cultural or religious ideal that helped them transcend themselves. He passed away under tragic circumstances in 1990.

1903: An abridged version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion begins to appear in a St. Petersburg daily newspaper. (As reported by Austin Cline)

1903: The Sixth Zionist Congress came to a close after five days during which Herzl proposed using territory offered by Britain, specifically Uganda, as a temporary shelter for Jews fleeing Eastern Europe and Russia. The Russian delegates, after a riotous debate, walked out and refused to return for the next congress unless the plan was stopped. Herzl had been concerned about the immediate physical well-being of Russian Jews who were faced with a series of Pogroms. The Russian Jews were telling Herzl and the world, that there was only one place for a Jewish homeland and that was Eretz Israel.

1904: “Woman Shoots Merchant” published on the front page of the New York Times described the shooting of prominent New Jersey businessman Rogers Pinner. (The Times misspelled his name as Piner.)

1906: Birthdate of Ukrainian born American composer David Tamkin who along with his brother Alex created an operatic version of The Dybbuk by S. Anksy (Shloyme Zanvl Rappoport)

1908(1st of Elul, 5668): Rosh Chodesh Elul

1908(1st of Elul, 5668): Twenty seven year old Jack Annenberg who had “served for the last 10 years in the London Rifle Brigade before transferring to the New Territorial Force  drowned today while swimming at Plemont Jersey. 

1909: After visiting ailing financial giant Edward Harriman, Jacob H. Schiff, the Jewish New York financier said that Harriman would “avoid the knife” and rely on medical as opposed to surgical solutions. Schiff’s statement had a calming effect on the markets and the world of high finance. (Schiff was Jewish; Harriman was not)

1913: Birthdate of American cantor and operatic tenor Richard Tucker. Born Reuben Ticker, gained fame as a Chazzan in Brooklyn before pursuing his operatic career. He debuted at the Met in 1945. He made his European debut in 1947 where he joined Maria Callas in La Gioconda. Tucker’s operatic career was such that when passed away unexpectedly in 1975 he enjoyed the singular honor of being the only person to have his funeral take place on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House. Tucker never lost his love of Jewish music or serving as a chazzan. He was the brother-in-law of another famous American tenor and cantor, Jan Peerce. Can you imagine a Seder at their house?

1915: In today’s Jewish Chronicle, Israel Zangwill described Lieutenant-Colonel John Henry Patterson, DSO, the commander of the Zion Mule Corps “as the soul of chivalry and gentleness.”

1916: Italy declares war on Germany and Germany declares war on Romania. By the time Italy joined in the fighting, the Jews of the country were so will integrated into the national fabric that a Jew had served as prime minister and another Jew had served as Mayor of Rome for six years. Prior to World War I, Romania was notorious for its mistreatment of its Jewish population – the nation was a haven for anti-Semitism and one of its major exports was Jews fleeing the country. Ironically, during the war, hundreds of Jews served in the Romanian Army and were decorated for valor. The additions of these two combatants did nothing to shorten the war but it did add to the misery suffered by the peoples of Romania and Italy.

1917: Birthdate of Jacob Kurtzberg, the son of Austrian immigrants who gained famed as Jack Kirby, one of the most influential, recognizable, and prolific artists in American comic books, and the co-creator of such enduring characters and popular culture icons such as the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, the Hulk, Captain America, and hundreds of others stretching back to the earliest days of the medium. He was also a comic book writer and editor. His most common nickname is "The King."

1918: American diplomats Henry King and Charles Crane presented their report to the Paris Peace Conference. They recommended the joining of Palestine to Syria, an end to the establishment of a Jewish National Home in Palestine and an international and interdenominational committee to supervise the Holy Places. Their report proved to be meaningless when the U.S. Senate rejected the Versailles Treaty. What may come as a surprise to some is that this betrayal of Zionist principles was prepared on the initiative of Woodrow Wilson.

1918: Samuel Gompers arrived in London as the head of a labor delegation. He expressed the delegation’s solidarity with workers in Europe and declared its support for all measures designed to win the war against the Germans.

1918: Samuel S. Koenig, Chairman of the New York Republican Committee was sent a letter tonight “tell him that forgeries had been committed by workers in the Sixth Assembly District” of which he is the leader.

1919: The recommendations of the King-Crane Commission with regard to Syria-Palestine and Iraq were presented today.
1920: Henry Ford's  Dearborn Independentpublished another in a series of “major” anti-Semitic articles.

1923: Three Jewish mobsters -Samuel “Sammy” Weiss, Jacob “Little Augie” Orgen and Samuel Gipson - were arrested by police outside of the Essex Market Courthouse. When the police found that they were each carrying pistols, they were charged with violation of New York’s Sullivan Law.

1923(16th of Elul, 5683): "Kid Dropper" Nathan Kaplan was gunned down today by Louis Cohen, a member of Jacob “Little Augie” Orgen’s gaing.. Born in 1891, he was “also known as Jack the Dropper. Kaplan was an American gangster controlling labor racketeering and extortion in New York City during the post-World War I period into the early years of Prohibition in the early 1920s.”

1924: In Georgia, opponents of the Communist regime staged the August Uprising against the Soviet Union. Following the fall of the Czar’s Empire, Georgia declared its independence in 1917. Following their seizure of power, the Communists sought to re-constitute the Russian Empire as the Soviet Union. When the Soviets invaded Georgia, approximately 2,000 Jews left the country. Following the August Uprrising, the Soviets cracked down on the remaining Jews, enacting laws that bankrupted their businesses and putting an end to all Zionist activities. Charges of blood libels would increase during the rest of the decade and things would get even worse in the 1930’s

1924: Birthdate of Rabbi Zalman Meshullam Schachter-Shalomi, the native of Zhovkva who survived the detention camps of Vichy to settle in the United States where he eventually became a leader in what is called the “Jewish Renewal Movement.”

1924: Birthdate of American sculptor Stanley Bleifeld.

1926: Birthdate of Ursula Stern who the Sobibor surivior who fought with the Parczew Partisans.

1928: George Engles, the manager of Jascha Heifetz, announced that his employer had married film star Florence Vidor, the ex-wife of King Vidor. He was Jewish.  She was not. (The marriage would end in divorce in 1945) 

1929: Birthdate of Hungarian conductor Istvan Kertesz.

1929: As Arab violence engulfs Palestine French troops are patrolling the Jewish quarter of Beirut in case there are further attacks by Arabs in this Lebanese city. So far, Arab militants have contented themselves with demonstrations and clashes with local police, but the French authorities are alarmed enough to have taken these extra measures.

1933: It was reported today that Herman Bernstein, the United States Minister to Albania has announced his resignation and said that he plans to return to New York the end of September. Bernstein had served in the post for 3 years during which he enjoyed a positive relationship with the ruler, King Zog.

1933: Laurence Adolph Steinhardt began serving as United States Ambassador to Sweden.

1933: In Johannesburg, South Africans, Jews and non-Jews, led by Tielman Roos, a leading statesman, express resentment against the attitude of Premier Hertzog towards boycott of German goods.

1933: The Deutsche Landhandelsbund, the Nazi department for agrarian trade and industry, informs the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that an agreement has practically been concluded between Germany and the Palestine Government whereby the Reich will import oranges to the value of eight million to ten million marks for which it will pay with exports of its goods to Palestine valued at twice that amount plus transportation in German ships. The Palestine Government, the British Colonial Office and the World Zionist Organization issue denials of the German report.

1933: In Warsaw, The Central Organization for the German Boycott wires protest to Zionist Congress against the reported trade agreement between Germany and Palestine.

1935: In Lucerne, Black flags flew at half-staff today on buildings housing the nineteenth World Zionist Congress, a symbol of Jewry's protest against Nazi "persecution" of their race.

1935: Most baseball writers are reported to believe that Detroit’s slugging first baseman Hank Greenberg will win this year’s MVP award for the American League.

1937: In London, it was announced that Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild, the English Jew to whom the late Lord Balfour addressed the famous Declaration promising Jews a National Home in Palestine had passed away on August 27. The Balfour Declaration was actually a letter dated November 2, 1917 written by the Foreign Minister, Arthur Balfour, which began “Dear Lord Rothschild” and was delivered to Rothschild’s home. This should give one an excellent idea of how well-connected the English branch of the House of Rothschild. Lord Lionel was well known for his philanthropies, but like all of the Rothschilds, power and money never separated them from the House of Israel.

1937: In Berlin, Henrietta Szold addressed a meeting of parents of 100 Youth Aliya children leaving for Palestine. She told them how during her recent visit to Eretz Israel she was impressed by the Jewish German youth working on the land, unhindered and conscious of their task. Youth Aliyah, the Hadassah sponsored program to rescue Jewish children from the Nazis, saved the lives of approximately 22,000 Jewish-German youngsters.

1938(1st of Elul, 5698): Rosh Chodesh Elul
1939: Fifteen year old Heinz Bernard’s mother sent him from Germany to England as part of a plan for the two to eventually join family members in the United States.

1940: Chiune Sugihara, the Vice Counsul for the Empire of Japan in Lithuania continued to defy his government and issued visas on his own initiative to thousands of Jews fleeing from certain death in Poland and Lithuania.

1940: After seven weeks of traveling by train across Eastern Europe and Asia, and then by ship across the Pacific Ocean to escape the terror of Nazi Germany, Eva Schott Berek and her parents arrived at the Angel Island Immigration Station one week before Eva’s 19th birthday

1941: Chicago Bears’ quarterback Sid Luckman led the Monsters of the Midway to a 37 to 13 victory over the College All-Stars in what had become an annual event at Soldier Field

1941: Second day of two day Aktion under the command of Obergruppenfuehrer Friedrich Jeckeln at to Kolomija near Kamenets-Podolsk during which a total of 23,600 Jews were murdered. Of the total between 14,000 and 18,000 of them were Hungarian Jews. The Germans were assisted by the Hungarians during the two days of slaughter. A complete description of the event can be found in Jeckeln’s report (Operational Report USSR No. 80).

1941: The Gestapo murdered more than 23,000 Hungarian Jews in the occupied Ukraine.

1941(4th of Elul, 5701): A Jewish butcher, one of 2000 Jews forced into a ditch at Kédainiai, Lithuania, resists by inflicting a fatal bite upon the throat of one of the Einsatzkommando soldiers. The butcher and the other Jews are immediately shot.

1941(4th of Elul, 5701): Lithuanian Nazi collaborators murdered Rochel Leah and sons Hillel, Shimon and Avraham in Panevezys.

1941: Thousands of Jews are murdered at Czyzewo-Szlachecki, Poland.

1942: Joseph C. Hyman executive chairman of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee announced tonight that it was sending   $25,000 to the OSE to provide for 1,200 Jewish children trapped in occupied France.

1942: It was revealed today that President Rafael L. Trujillo has offered to allow 3,500 Jewish children between the ages of 3 and 14 living in Vichy France to settle in the Dominican Republic. 

1942: Forty-one year old Bension Gotlob and 43 year old Regina Gotlop were among those who left Drancy today in Convoy 25 which was headed for Auschwitz.  Among the 285 children heading for the death camp were seven year old Salomon Gottlob and his two year old sister Tama.

1942: Fourteen thousand Jews are killed at Sarny, Ukraine.

1942: Fleischer Studios, Inc which was found in 1921 as Inkwell Studies by Max and Dave Fleisher and had been acquired by Paramount Studios went “defunct” today

1942: Seventy-seven General Antoine Louis Targe (Retired) who played a key role in proving the innocent of Captain Dreyfus passed away today.

1942: World Jewish Congress (WJC) President Stephen S. Wise receives a cable from Swiss WJC representative Gerhart Riegner regarding the "Final Solution." Wise elects to suppress the information until it can be verified;

1942: Ten thousand Jews are murdered at Miedzyrzec, Poland.

1942: Jews of Chortkov, Ukraine, are put into freight cars and transported to the death camp at Belzec.

1942: German authorities order the arrests of Parisian priests who have sheltered Jews.

1942: The Antwerp police roundup 1,243 Belgian Jews and ship them to the death camps.

1943: The Danes began a general strike against the Nazi occupation.

1943: Two days after returning from Berlin, King Boris dies under mysterious circumstances in Sofia, Bulgaria. According to some sources, the Nazis had poisoned the king as punishment for protecting the Jews of his kingdom. Thanks in part to the monarch who was a “reluctant hero,: most of Bulgaria’s fifty thousand Jews avoid the deadly consequences of the final solution.

1945: Birthdate of producer Robert Greenwald.

1945: The British Mandate Government published the Fitzgerald Plan for governing Jerusalem. The system of dividing the city into boroughs had some merit, but it was predicated on the notion that the British Mandate would continue. The plan, like so many before and after it, was “dead on arrival.”

1946(1st of Elul, 5706): Rosh Chodesh Elul

1948: In Egypt, “Jews were forbidden to engage in banking or foreign currency transactions. (In the following month Egyptian Jews would be ”dismissed from the railways, the post office, the telegraph department and the Finance Ministry on the” unfounded  “ground that they were suspected of ‘sabotage and treason’”]

1952: The reparations talks between Israelis and West Germans ended in The Hague. West Germany was to pay Israel 3 billion marks (about $714m.) in the form of goods. She was also bound to deliver to Israel goods worth 450m Marks (about $106m.), to cover the claims of world Jewry. This was part of very painful process especially for those Israelis who had survived the Holocaust or who had lost family and friends at the hands of the Germans. Many, including Menachem Begin, did not want to accept anything from the Germans. For some acceptance of the money was part of a forgiveness process in which they were unwilling to participate. [The East Germans - the Communist half of Germany did not take part in the talk. Unlike West Germany, East Germany never conducted any de-Nazification program or made any attempt to make amends for Germany's slaughter of the Jewish people.]

1952: The first, undated letter written by Mordechai Oren, the Mapam leader imprisoned in Czechoslovakia, was received by his family.

1952: In an address to the Knesset, Prime Minister Ben-Gurion reported that Arab infiltrators killed 62 Israelis, injured 110 and abducted 29 during 1951. These on-going attacks would have several impacts on Israeli society. One was that the military developed an aggressive stance in fighting these terrorists. Another was the Suez War of 1956. Part of the Israeli goal was to destroy the bases of Egyptian sponsored terrorists in Gaza.

1953: In the evening, Unit 101, under the command of Ariel Sharon, conducted its first mission.

1954: Mortimer May, president of the Zionist Organization of America, said tonight that the State Department's proposed policy of arming the Arab states would not thwart the advance of communism.

1957(1st of Elul, 5717): Rosh Chodesh Elul

1957: Birthdate of actor Daniel Stern. This graduate of Bethesda-Chevy Chase in suburban Washington may be best known for his appearance in the comedy City Slickers.

1959(24th of Av, 5719): Fifty nine year old Raphael Lemkin, the Polish-Jewish attorney who created the word “genocide” passed away today.

1961: Milk and Honey, the musical featuring the music and lyrics of Jerry Herman, began its pre-Broadway tryout run at the Shubert Theatre in New Haven. “The story centers on a busload of lonely American widows hoping to catch husbands while touring Israel and is set against the background of the country's fight for recognition as an independent nation. It was Herman's first Broadway book musical.”

1964: Al Aronowitz brought Bob Dylan to the Delmonico Hotel in New York City where he introduced them to the Beatles.

1963: Isaac Franck, executive director of the Jewish Community Council, Hyman Bookbinder and the Washington Board of Rabbis were among the 250,000 people who attended the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom made famous by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech. (As reported by the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington)

1969: In Washington, DC, Adele and Joel Sandberg gave birth to Sheryl Kara Sandberg the Harvard grad who became COO of Facebook.

1969: In Santa Monica, CA, Judith and Thomas Black gave birth to actor Joe Black

1970: Birthdate of Richard Samuel “Rick” Recht, the Jewish troubadour known, among other things for his Shabbat Alive programs.

1972: Mark Spitz wins the first of his seven gold medals at the Summer Olympics in Munich. He earned the medal by setting a new world’s record for the 200 meter butterfly.

1973: Former U.S. Senator Kenneth B. Keating presented his credentials as U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

1977: Amos Horev, president of the Haifa Technion, announced that Israel was on the threshold of a major breakthrough in water desalination. He claimed that Prof. Abraham Kogan had completed work on a revolutionary invention on desalination, ready for industrial exploitation. Negotiations were advancing for a full-scale million-cubic-meter a year desalination plant. Water has always been a major issue in Israel and continues to be to this day. Desalination projects such as this were critical for those seeking to irrigate the Negev, among other things.

1983: Israeli PM Menachem Begin announced his resignation.

1984(30th of Av, 5744): Rosh Chodesh Elul

1986: Birthdate of Galid Shalit, the Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hamas in June, 2006

1988: Leonard Bernstein’s three day long 70th birthday celebration comes to an end.

1991: Ukraine declares its independence from the Soviet Union. Approximately 80% of Ukraine's half million Jews left the country. At the dawn of the 21st century there was a rejuvenation of Jewish life in Ukraine. Unfortunately, the anti-Semitism that has been endemic to Ukraine continues to rear its ugly head.

1997: Boston’s Jewish Advocate ran a story entitled "Jewish Women's Archive (JWA) set for launch into cyberspace," which outlined JWA's origin, mission, and work, and announced a new chapter in the organization's history. JWA was a young organization, just two years old, when the launch of its "virtual archive" was announced in the Advocate article. The goal of the virtual archive is to identify and link existing materials and archives around the country. JWA's founding director Gail Reimer explained that although Jewish women's letters, diaries, personal papers, and more exist, "most material is not readily identifiable and needs to be resurfaced." She envisioned the virtual archive as a gateway for scholars and the public to gain access to otherwise-hidden resources. As Reimer told the Advocate, documenting existing collections is only part of JWA's mission. JWA was also working to create new materials, primarily by conducting oral history interviews with elderly women from the congregation of Temple Israel in Boston. This project, called "Women Whose Lives Span the Century," led to an art exhibit of works based on the interviews; the exhibit took place at the Jewish Community Center in Newton, MA. Reimer also told the Advocate that JWA was engaged in long-term planning to assemble the resources to fulfill its mission. The article reported that that mission had been recently refined to focus on archival and educational work. In the eight years since the launch of the Virtual Archive, JWA has been at the forefront of collecting and disseminating that information. Through Women of Valor web exhibits and posters; curriculum materials; oral history projects in Baltimore and Seattle; Women Who Dared events honoring local Jewish activists; and the This Week in History JWA has led the way in putting Jewish women's history firmly on the map. The website of this organization has been an invaluable resource for the feeble effort styled “This Day in Jewish History which you are reading.

1998: Congregation member Daniel Z. Nelson was celebrating his 43rd wedding anniversary with his family at his home in Amagansett, New York, when he learned that Manhattan's Central Synagogue was in flames.

1998: Central Synagogue in Manhattan burned today. The Central Synagogue, believed to be the oldest continuously used Jewish house of worship in New York, was built between 1870 and 1872. Its cornerstone was laid by the founder of Reform Judaism in the United States, Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise. Built as a fifth synagogue for the Ahawath Chesed congregation, which was formed in 1846 by Bohemian Jews, the building was designed by Henry Fernbach, one of the first Jews to make a name for himself in American architecture. According to Cissy Grossman, a member of the congregation and the author of a 1989 book about the synagogue called The Jewish Family's Book of Days, at the time it was built, American Jews were casting about for a style that could represent both their sense of modernism and their desire to root themselves in a rich past. The search expressed itself in a revival of Spanish, Moorish and Egyptian style and, in the Central Synagogue, in a profusion of arches and lacy arabesque designs carved into the woodwork. Ms. Grossman continued, ''It was the whole idea of finding a stylistic thing that has the feeling of being Jewish and also refers to the fact that Jews lived in the Islamic world for so long and had a peaceful existence.'' Rabbi Alexander Schindler, president emeritus of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the umbrella organization of Reform temples, said: ''I come from Nazi Germany, so I don't tie myself to a building. But this one hit me that way. The architecture was awe-inspiring. It's a place that made the spirit soar.'' Over the years, the congregation undertook several major renovations. Yet another repair project was under way to restore the original painted designs on the interior walls, some of which had been painted over. That dedication to maintaining the glory of the synagogue and uncovering its original splendors apparently has saved many of its treasures. Ms. Goldman, who oversees the synagogue's extensive collection of Judaica, said most of the precious historical objects, many Torah scrolls and even the original architectural plans from the 19th century had already been moved to warehouses over the last few months. So had much of the congregation's archive of wedding and birth records, letters, cemetery maps and other documents. Despite the fire, records of what the synagogue looked like and how it was built survive. ''There are many restorers in New York who know that building very well,'' Ms. Goldman said. ''Every aspect of it has been photographed and many people have worked on it.'' The fate of two of the synagogue's most beloved treasures, vestiges of the lost Jewry of Eastern Europe, was still unknown. One is a grand bronze Hanukkah lamp from the 18th century that was donated by some of the original members of the congregation. The other is a recovered and restored fragment of a Torah scroll that had been confiscated by the Nazis from one of the countless synagogues destroyed, along with their members, in World War II. ''If they are not able to rescue it,'' Rabbi Schindler said, ''it will burn twice.'' In 1970, at a ceremony marking the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Central Synagogue, Rabbi Schindler recalled the simple people -- the shopkeepers and tailors of the lower East Side -- who pooled their money to buy the land at 55th Street and Lexington Avenue where they would eventually build their temple. ''We can imagine the trepidation that filled their hearts as they stood here that morning,'' Rabbi Schindler said then. ''We can imagine the doubts they knew and the fears they had. But they conquered these fears and doubts and gave strength to their children and their children's children and to us.'' But as the Central Synagogue burned today, Ronald Goldberger recalled the small personal moments he had shared there with his family: the naming of his children, their bar mitzvahs, the service when his wife blew the shofar, or ram's horn, to signal the arrival of the Jewish New Year. And then Mr. Goldberger, who said he has been a member for more than 20 years, wept. ''That's my synagogue that's burning up,'' he said hoarsely, as a friend embraced him in the pall of smoke.

2003(30th of Av, 5763): Rosh Chodesh Elul

2005: Rabbi David M. Gordis and Rabbi Barry Freundel officiated at the wedding of Fern Schad and Alfred Moses a senior partner with Covington & Burling who served as U.S. Ambassador to Romania.

2005: The University of California publishedBeyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-Semitism and the Abuse of History, Norman Finkelstein’s attack on Alan Dershowitz  and his latest work, The Case for Israel

2005: Matan Vilnai began serving as Minister of Science and Technology.

2005: “Israeli author Amos Oz received the German city of Frankfurt's Goethe Prize for 2005 at the city's St Paul's Church. The prize, which is awarded every three years, went to the 66- year-old Oz for his "thematic diversity" and "stylistic virtuosity", the awards judges said. "Through his literary works Amos Oz transmits to readers in all parts of the world a deep profound all-surpassing feeling of humanity, moral values and cooperation," the judges said. The highest honor bestowed by the central German city of Frankfurt, the Goethe Prize has been in existence since 1927.Previous recipients included Sigmund Freund (1930), Ingmar Bergman (1976)and Siegfried Lenz (1999).”

2005: The New York Times features reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Indecision by Benjamin Kunkel, The Amorous Busboy of Decatur: A Child of the Fifties Looks Back by Robert Klein and 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America(And Al Franken Is #37) by Bernard Goldberg.

2006: Sportscaster Max Kellerman lost out in the competition to serve as host on the 7 pm timeslot at WEPN also known as 1050 ESPN Radio in New York City.

2006: Family and friends of Corporal Gilad Shalit came to Kerem Shalom, where he was abducted, to mark his 20th birthday. Shalit was kidnapped two months ago when Palestinian militants tunneled out of the Gaza Strip and attacked his post. His father said, "On August 28 we have come to Kerem Shalom to mark your birthday. We will not be able to celebrate this year. I doubt you know what date it is today, and that you are 20 years old today. We came to where your comrades Pavel Slutzker and Hanan Barak fell. We came to remind everyone that you have been in captivity for 65 days ... we came to remind the Israeli government and the army of their moral debt to you, and that soldiers are not left behind in the battlefield or in captivity."

2006(4th of Elul, 5766): Melvin Schwartz, who shared in the Nobel Prize for Physicis in 1988, passed away.

2006: Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appointed Nahum Admoni “to be chairman of an investigation committee, charged with investigating the actions of the government during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict.”

2008: Zehava Ben along with Sarit Hadad and Israeli Arab singers Lubna Salame and Riham Hamadi join forces at the third and final night of the inaugural Gilboa Coexistence Festival taking place throughout the Gilboa region. The singers will be accompanied at the Ein Harod Amphitheater on the 28th by the Ra'anana Symphonette Orchestra and the Nazareth Orchestra.

2008: Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, will be making history today as he opens the Democratic convention’s last day, in front of an expected crowd of 70,000 in the audience and millions more watching from afar.

2008: The Democratic National Convention which Ayelet Waldman, a law school classmate and supporter of Barak Obama attended as a delegate came to an end.

2009(8th of Elul, 5769: Thirty-eight year old DJ AM (Adam Michael Goldstein was found dead in his apartment today.

2009: Premiere of “Taking Woodstock,” a comedy co-starring Henry Goodman, Liev Schreiber, Eugene Levy and Emile Hirsch.

2009: At Temple Judah Friday night services are a ‘family affair in the best sense of the word. Dr. Bob and Laurie Silber, pillars of the Jewish community, lead the Tefillah, while their daughter Abby leads the singing bringing her own special brand of musical excitement and joy to the celebration of Shabbat.

2010: The Gilead Barkin Trio is scheduled to perform at the Indium Jazz Club in New York City.

2010: Palestinian Authority Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat rejected Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's calls for fortnightly face-to-face meetings with PA President Mahmoud Abbas during upcoming peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Israel Radio reported today, citing an interview Erekat conducted with the BBC in Arabic. In the interview, Erekat added that it is too soon to establish who exactly will meet for negotiations, how often they will do so, and where the meetings will take place.

2011: Kol Shira is scheduled to perform at the Agudas Achim end of summer picnic in Iowa City.

2011: The British Jewish community is marking Gilad Schalit’s 25th birthday today by launching a new awareness campaign and calling on the government and Red Cross to press for his release.

2011: Israeli jazz clarinetist, saxophonist and bandleader Anat Cohen is scheduled to perform at the Charlie Parker Jazz Festival in New York City.

2011(28th of Av, 5771): “David Reichenberg, a 50-year-old Orthodox Jewish father of four from Spring Valley, N.Y. died saving a father and his 6-year-old son from a downed power line when Reichenberg came into contact with the live wire and was electrocuted.” (As reported by JTA)

2011: The body of eighty-two year old Rozalia Gluck, one of two Jews reported to have died during Hurricane Irene was recovered this evening. (As reported by JTA)

2011(28th of Av, 5771): Eighty-one year old CBS culture critic Leonard Harris passed away today. (As reported by Daniel Slotnik)

 2012: “Two of the Upper West Side of Manhattan’s most renowned Cantors – Rebecca Garfein, Senior Cantor of Congregation Rodeph Sholom, and Dan Singer, Cantor at Stephen Wise Free Synagogue – are scheduled to perform at the Enrico Caruso Room at Grotta Azzurra Ristorante in Little Italy” this evening.