March 23 In History

1369: King Pedro of Castile who employed Abraham ibn Zaral as his physician was beheaded by his rival and brother, Henry of Trastamara marking the end of their civil war for control of the kingdom. . Henry “was as hostile to the Jews as Pedro had been friendly. His long-cherished hatred of his brother burst forth when a Jew named Jacob, an intimate of the king, praised the latter excessively to Henry. In his fury he stabbed the Jew with a dagger. Pedro would have revenged himself on Henry forthwith, but his courtiers restrained him by force. Henry saved himself by a hasty flight. This was the immediate cause of the civil war which brought untold suffering upon the Jews of the country. . He was as hostile to the Jews as Pedro had been friendly. His long-cherished hatred of his brother burst forth when a Jew named Jacob, an intimate of the king, praised the latter excessively to Henry. In his fury he stabbed the Jew with a dagger. Pedro would have revenged himself on Henry forthwith, but his courtiers restrained him by force. Henry saved himself by a hasty flight. This was the immediate cause of the civil war which brought untold suffering upon the Jews of the country. During their struggle for control,Henry continuously depicted Peter as "King of the Jews," and had some success in taking advantage of popular Castilian resentment towards the Jews. During his reign, “Henry of Trastamara instigated pogroms beginning a period of anti-Jewish riots and forced conversion] in Castile that lasted approximately from 1370 to 1390.

1475: Trent (Italy) was the scene of one of the more notorious ritual murder libels. A Franciscan monk, Bernardinus of Feltre, had recently arrived and began preaching Lent sermons against the Jews. A week before Easter a boy by the name of Simon drowned in the river Adige. The monk charged the Jews with using the body for its blood. The body washed up a few days later near the house of a Jew who brought it to the Bishop Honderbach. Seventeen Jews were tortured for over two weeks. Some confessed while being tortured and 6 Jews were burnt. Two more were strangled. A temporary hiatus was called by Pope Sixtus IV, but after five years the trial was reopened and 5 more Jews were executed. The papal inquest agreed with the trial, Simon was beatified, and all Jews were expelled for 300 years. The trial served as the basis for anti-Semitic writings for hundreds of years. Only in 1965 was Simon de –beatified

1490: The first dated edition of Maimonides' “Mishneh Torah” was published. Maimonides was born in Cordova, Spain in 1135. His family fled as one group of Moslem rulers replaced another. Eventually he settled in Egypt where he was a distinguished physician for the ruling Moslems as well as head of the Egyptian community. According to one source he provided medical advice for both Saladin and Richard the Lionhearted. He died in 1204 and is buried in Tiberias in Israel. Simply put, the Mishneh Torah was "an orderly restructuring of the entire legal literature of the Talmud." The Mishneh Torah (Repetition of the Law) is "one of the most distinguished codes of Jewish law...”

1555: Pope Julius III passed away. Despite opposition, Julius allowed Jewish refugees from Spain settle in Ancona in northeast Italy. He spoke out against the blood libel and opposed baptism of Jewish children without the approval of their parents. At the same time, he was unable to stand up to the power of the Inquisitor General from the Holy Office and he acquiesced in the burning of numerous copies of the Talmud and other Jewish books.

1784: Reverend Gershom Mendes Seixas returned to New York City from Connecticut and took up his position as “Minister.” He returned while New York City was evacuated by the British, and most of the members of the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue were in the safety of Connecticut and Philadelphia. Seixas was very patriotic, and was thanked by President George Washington at one time. Seixas instituted a recital of a prayer for the government in English, it having been always read in Spanish prior to this time.

1801: Tsar Paul I of Russia is struck with a sword, then strangled, and finally trampled to death in his bedroom at St. Michael's Castle. Paul’s reign was a comparatively short one, starting in 1796 with the death of his mother Catherine the Great. The shortness of his time on the throne was a good thing for the Jews of Russia. In 1799, Paul sent one of his closest advisors, Gabriel Derhavin to Belorssia. Derhavin decided that the problems in that part of the realm, as well as the rest of Russia were caused by the Jews “who were irredeemably corrupt.” He was planning on urging the Czar to move most of the Jews to the “frontier territories or drive them from the empire altogether.” These and other harsh measures would have become the law of the land if Paul had not been killed and replaced by his comparatively more enlightened son, Alexander I.

1807(13th of Adar II, 5567):Ta'anit Esther

1831: Christian-Hebraist Giovanni Bernardo De Rossi passed away.

1837: Birthdate of Joseph Wieniawski, Russian born pianist and composer.

1853: While delivering a speech welcoming Father Gavazzi, the celebrated Roman patriot and orator to the United States, Reverend Dowling pointed out a peculiarity of the American experience. “This government, alone of all others, never persecuted or endeavored to persecute Jews.”

1861: “The Hebrew Son” is scheduled to be performed at the Winter Garden Theatre in NYC.

1862: During the American Civil War, Judah P. Benjamin completed his short stint as “acting” Secretary War. Benjamin continued to serve as Secretary of State.

1863: According to “The Books of the Week” column published today, Scribner’s has published "Lectures on the History of the Jewish Church, -- Part 1, Abraham to Samuel" by Arthur Penryn Stanley, D.D., Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History in the University of Oxford, and Canon of Christ Church. According to this Stanley “the roots of the Jewish Church must be sought deep in the Patriarchal Age, its prelude commencing with the Call of Abraham, then from the time it takes determinate shape and recognized status with the Exodus, the first great period extends to the absorption of the ancient and primitive constitution in the new institutions of the Monarchy. This “period is generally called by the name of the Theocracy; its great characters are Abraham, Moses and Samuel. It embraces the first revelation of the Mosaic Religion, and the first foundation of the Jewish Church and polity." Two future volumes will continue to describe the history of the Jews up to Roman times. The second volume will describe the period of the Monarchy. The third will describe the period “from the Captivity to the destruction of the Jewish Capital and State by the Emperor Titus.”

1864(15th of Adar II, 5624): Shushan Purim

1864: A column published today entitled “Purim: Our Jewish Citizens in Their Glory” reported that Purim Association has given their “third Grand Fancy Dress Ball, at the Academy of Music. The Association was formed in 1862 by nine young men of the Jewish faith, its first ball was given at Irving Hall in 1862, its second at the Academy of Music in 1863, and its third at the same hall last evening. The festival of Purim is one of the oldest and most important festivals recognized by the Jews, commemorating, as it does, one of the most important events in their history as a nation. It was instituted by Queen Esther and by Mordecai about the year 510 B.C., and commemorates the remarkable deliverance of the children of Israel from the tyranny and machinations of Haman, who was Prime Minister to King Ahasuerus, who reigned from India unto Ethiopia, over a hundred and twenty-seven provinces. Mordecai had been carried captive from Jerusalem, and with him the fair and beautiful maiden Hadassah or Esther, whom Mordecai, when her father and mother were dead, took for his own daughter. Esther being exceedingly beautiful and pleasing found favor in the eyes of King Ahasuerus, who married her and made her his Queen. About this time Haman was appointed to the high position of Prime Minister to the King, and he demanded and received homage from all except the Jew Mordecai, who not only refused to pay homage, but also refused to give any reason why he would not. Haman, highly incensed at the conduct of Mordecai, ordered made a gallows of extraordinary height, on which to hang him for the insult be had offered to one in high office and favored by the King. Queen Esther, hearing of this, informed the King of the relation which existed between her and Mordecai, and also of the great benefit Mordecai had done the King some time previous in informing of two men in his confidence, Bigthana and Teresh, who sought to lay violent hands upon the King and kill him. The King remembering all these things and the iniquity, or Haman, ordered him hanged upon the gallows erected for Mordecai, placed Mordecai in the position held by Haman, made him chief over the house of Haman, and released the children of Israel from bondage. This was celebrated by great rejoicing all over the land and, in every way the joy and happinees of the people was exhibited. From that to the present the festival of this deliverance of the Jews has been celebrated by the most extravagant expressions of happiness, calling upon each other at their houses, in every dress and guise which could possibly add merriment or joy to the occasion, and using every means they could devise for the utmost enjoyment and celebration of this great and happy event. Of late years their number has so increased that time would not allow them to visit all the friends they wished, nor would their houses hold all the friends they wished to entertain. To obviate this difficulty, nine young gentlemen on the Jewish faith, in the year 1862, organized the "Purim Association," the object of which was to collect all the parties together for the general enjoyment of the festival, and that all friends might meet. Thus far they have been particularly fortunate nothing has occurred to mar their pleasure, and they have also by this means been enabled to do a great deal of good. Last year they presented to the Orphan Asylum and other charitable institutions a handsome sum, and this year they intend, first, to present to the Sanitary Fair a good round sum, and then take care of the charitable institutions, as is their custom. The officers of the association, who have been and are working hard and steadily for the promotion of this society and its good influence, and to whom, in a great measure, the success of the ball is due, are as follows: M.H. Moses, President; Jos. A. Levy, Vice-President; A.H. Schutz, Treasurer. The hall was crowded with a most brilliant assemblage, who entered into the enjoyments of the occasion with a zest seldom equaled; the costumes were very rich and beautiful; the diamonds worn by the ladies magnificent and in brilliancy almost rivaled the bright eyes of their fail owners. Among the best of the characters represented were those of Mrs. Partington, Lucretia Borgia, Penobscot Squaw, Chippewa Chief, and Joan of Arc, several beauties of the Court of Charles H., the Duke of Buckingham, Faust, a Priest, and several Jewish maidens. Merriment reigned supreme within the hall. Wives, well-disguised, teased their liege lords almost to distraction; sweethearts by sly winks and actions, drove their devoted lovers almost frantic; husbands thinking they were not known or noticed, paid sweet compliments to fair maidens only to be rapped over the knuckles for not reserving them for their wives, and staid old bachelors and maidens entered into the spirit of the fun in a manner which fairly astonished themselves. Two Bands gave constant music, to which the feet of the merry dancers kept time. At twelve o'clock they unmasked and then what surprise was created. Husbands found they had been flirting all the evening with their own wives; lovers had been confidentially extolling the beauties of their sweethearts to their-sweethearts themselves; old maids had been telling old bachelors how disagreeable they thought that class of men to be, and old bachelors had been sympathizing, perhaps, with the old maids themselves, upon the unhappy condition of these unfortunate ladies. The mistakes, however, were speedily and amicably settled, and after the excellent supper prepared by the caterer, M.S. Cohen, had been fully enjoyed, were entirely forgotten.” New York Mayor Charles Gunther was among the dignitaries who attended the event.

1866: James Disraeli who resided in Cromwell Place wrote his will today.

1868(15th of Adar II, 5624):Shushan Purim

1868: The University of California is founded in Oakland, California when the Organic Act is signed into law. Today the University of California at Berkley has approximately 3000 Jewish students out of a student population totaling approximately 24,000. The school offers ten Jewish studies courses and a Major in the field.

1870: Jay Gould appeared before the New York State Senate Railroad Committee and that his opponents were being financed by “Jewish bankers” from London. (“Robber Baron” Jay Gould was attempting to use anti-British and anti-Jewish prejudice to deflect attacks on his unscrupulous business tactics when dealing with the Erie Railroad.)

1871(1st of Nisan, 5631): Rosh Chodesh Nisan

1872: In an article entitled “Persecution of Jews In Romania” the New York Times compares the attacks on the Jews with the suffering “in England in the days of Isaac of York” and calls upon the European Powers to intervene on behalf of the Jews if the government of Romania will not stop the attacks on its Jewish citizens.

1872: This evening, as Jews celebrated Purim, synagogues in New York “were all crowded” as they listened to the unique musical narrative of the story of Esther. “In the…strictly Orthodox synagogues such as those on Chrystie and Allen Streets, the audience stamped their feet or struck the ground with the heavy sticks whenever the detested name of Haman was pronounced.”

1876: The Young Men’s Hebrew Association will host its final “entertainment of the season” this evening at the Standard Hall in New York City.

1878: Birthdate of Austrian composer and conductor Franz Schreker. Schreker was the oldest son of the Jewish court photographer Ignaz Schrecker and his wife Eleonore von Clossmann. He passed away on March 21, 1934.

1879: It was reported today 800,000 Philadelphians are served by 564 houses of worship including 9 synagogues.

1879: Dr. Henry S. Jacobs will deliver a lecture this evening at the Norfolk Street Synagogue sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Union.

1880: In Russia an editorial entitled “The Yid is Coming” is published in the anti-Semitic journal Novoe Vermie.

1881: Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Lubny, Russia. This would not be the first or the last time that death would strike the Jews of Lubny which is actually located in the Ukraine, In 1648 during the horror known as the Chmielnicki Massacres, thousands of Jews died at Lubny and other nearby towns. In October of 1941, the Nazis massacred the Jewish population as the German armies swept across the Ukraine. The rioting in 1881 probably was a mini-pogrom sparked by the killing of Czar Alexander II "at the hand of revolutionary bomb throwers." They presaged a series of such riots that would sweep much of Russia during the Spring and Summer of 1881.

1883(14th of Adar II, 5643): Purim

1886: Secretary Taylor of the American Yacht Club called the members together in a special meeting this evening to listen to a lecture by the popular Sephardic raconteur Mr. R.J. de Cordova on "The New York Stock Exchange." Instead of of lecture, Mr. de Cordova amused the "twoscore members" of the club humorous rhyming story about a stock broker in search of a rich wife, the daughter of a Pennsylvania farmer made rich by the discovery of petroleum on his farm and "a rejected bucolic lover" who happily marries the maiden after she loses her fortune while pursuing an extravagant urban lifestyle.

1887: Birthdate of Sidney Hillman. Sidney Hillman was a major figure in the American labor movement and became a leading advisor to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He was President of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, one of the two major unions in the garment industry from 1915 until his death in 1946. An untiring champion of the working class and the underprivileged, Hillman was a founder of the Congress of Industrial Organization, the CIO. Unfortunately, with the passage of time, we have lost a sense of appreciation for the improvement in the American way of life wrought by Hillman and similar giants of the American labor movement, many of whom were Jewish.

1890: “Art Notes” published today described the ten illustrations of “The Merchant of Venice” by Edwin Abbey that will appear in the April edition of Harper magazine.  They include “the figure of Portia exhorting the Jew” to show mercy and a “frontpiece” showing the Ducal Palace “with the Jew demonstrating why he does not love Christians.”

1890: The late Solomon Adler bequeathed $500 to both the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and Mount Sinai Hospital and $250 to each of the following: Montefiore Home for Chronic Invalids, the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews and the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society of New York.

1891: Alice Goldmark marries Louis Brandeis at her parent’s home in New York City.

1891: “The Baron de Hirsch Club” published today described the accomplishments of the newly formed social club.  Among the seventy-five charter members are Dr. Leon Sherurg, Elias Gluskin, Morton Britton, John W. Jacobus, William Bellamy, Louis Henderson and M.J. Rosinski

1892: It was reported today that after the claim of Adolf Grube for 1,600,000 rubles has been satisfied J.E. Guenxburg will only have 14 million rubles in his accounts with which to satisfy the rest of his creditors.

1893: Max Judd of Missouri has been nominated to serve as Consul General at Vienna. Judd, a native of Austria, came to the United States as a child and has lived in St. Louis for the last twenty-five years.  A man of “well and fine education” “his appointment is the result of the almost universal request of the people of” St. Louis which speaks well of Judd and the regard in which the Jews of Missouri are held by the general population.

1893: A case involving the seizure by police of liquor which members of Boston’s Adath Israel’s congregation claimed was intended for use on Passover began making its way through the court system. The Jews claim that the vice president of the congregation was holding the liquor for his co-religionists which he will be distributing during Passover. The police claim that this is a ruse and is merely a way for the Jews to get around local liquor ordinances.

1893: Kosher slaughtering was prohibited in Saxony, which is in a part of Germany that Martin Luther had dominated during his rise to power. Some claim that the ban was part of the anti-cruelty to animal movement but this claim has a very hollow sound to it considering what else was going on in the society.

1895: Edwin Einstein, a New York Republican, was appointed to serve as Dock Commissioner today by a Mayor who was a Democrat.

1895: In Budapest, the House of Magnates rejected the clause of the Religious Freedom Bill that gave Jews equal rights with the Christians by a vote of 117 to 111.

1896: “What Is A Christian Nation?” published today described the views of Dr. Gustav Gottheil who “claims that the so-called Christian nations are not so in fact and that the Jews are, from the ethical standpoint, the true Christian nation.”  A Christian nation would make the Sermon on the Mount the basis for its Constitution entailing “the returning of good for evil, the breathing of a blessing upon those who curse us, the rendering of good for evil.” (Editor’s note –This view should provide food for thought for those who claim the U.S. is a “Christian nation.”)

1897: Mrs. Rebecca Kohut gave a talk today on “The Training of Children in Reverence in Jewish Homes” at the Manhattan Congregational Church.

1897: Oscar S. Straus, the former U.S. Minister to Turkey who has just returned to the United States said that he had met with Baroness de Hirsch while in Europe but did not care to discuss the details of continued financial assistance for immigrants from Europe who will be settling in the Western Hemisphere.

1899: Dr. Joseph Silverman delivered a lecture on the “Longevity of the Hebrews.”

1899: It was reported today that during the month of February the United Hebrew Charities had received 2,815 applications for assistance which covered 9,377 individuals.  Jobs were found for 477 applicants while over 1,800 people were seen by either a doctor or a nurse.  The charity raised over $17,000 during February and spent almost $13,000 in providing aid to the needy.

1900: Birthdate of Eric Fromm.

1902(14th of Adar II, 5662): Purim

1907: In New York this evening, enough poor Jews presented their tickets which could be exchanged for 10 pounds of Matzoth and 5 pounds of floor to the store on Attorney Street, that 20,000 pounds of matzoth and 10,000 pounds of Matzah floor were needed to meet the demand.

1907: When “a small boy with red brick hair” presented his ticket entitling him to 10 pounds of Matzah and 5 pounds of Matzah flour, he was told that “these matzoth are only provided for person of true Hebraic faith.” The lad replied, “Me name is Mickey O’Brien, but sure me mother needs the matzoth. We’re most staring and if it’ll do any good I’ll be an Irish Hebrew.” The lad got his matzoth and flour. [It was not unusual for non-Jews to show up for when free food was passed out at Passover time. The Jews did not seem to mind apparently remembering the words of the Haggadah inviting the poor to come and join us in eating at the Seder.]

1911(23rd of Adar, 5671): Daniel Abramovich Chwolson passed away.

1913(14thof Adar II, 5673): Purim

1914: The New York Times reports from St. Petersburg “that as …Passover approaches more blood ritual allegations are being circulated.” In Uman, in the Ukraine, reports are circulating “that a Christian boy, Anton Zummer, who was working in a bakery at a machine for making matzoth…had his hand thrust in the machinery by the Jewish boys and lost a large quantity of blood which went to the making of the bread…Another report speaks of the finding of an 8-year old boy’s body under a railway bridged at Kovel…with the head, neck and chest pierced with wounds.” [This is the same Uman that is the burial site of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov which Jews visit each year at Rosh Hashanah.]

1915: The United Hebrew Community has sent out an appeal for more funds to so it can distributed matzoth and other food to the poor Jews of the Lower East Side before the beginning of Passover. Moses H. Phillips, President of the Hebrew Community said that the demand is greater this year than in years past and at least 90,000 pounds of food will be needed to feed the needy. The United Hebrew Community is only one of several Jewish organizations that will be distributing food at Passover time to their less fortunate co-religionists.

1915: The Zion Mule Corps, consisting of Jewish volunteers from Palestine, was formed to serve with the British Army. This was the first Palestinian Jewish military unit attached to a regular army in the modern times. The unit was organized under the command of Joseph Trumpeldor, an early military hero of the future state of Israel and Vladimir Jabotinsky who would become leader of what was known as the Revisionist Movement, forerunner of today's Likud part. The united fought against the Turks who were allies of the British. The success of the Zion Mule Corps paved the way for the Jewish Legion which was formed in 1918.

1916: In Ireland foundation stone of the Greenville Hall Synagogue was laid. Coincidentally it took place on the same date as the Easter Rising, the Irish rebellion against English rule.

1919: Benito Mussolini founded his Fascist political movement in Milan, Italy. The ashes of the First World War were not even cool yet when the seeds for World War II and the Holocaust were being planted.

1921: KH-UIA was registered as a British limited company, whose members, together with the Chairman of the Board of Directors, were chosen by the WZO's Executive Board. KH-UIA's founders included such luminaries as Chaim Weizmann, Aharon, and Isaac Naidich. The first Directors were Barth Berthold Feiwel, Georg Halpern, Vladimir Jabotinsky, Shlomo Kaplansky, Shemaryahu Levin, Issac Naidich, Israel M. Sieff (later Lord Sieff) and Hillel Zlatopolsky.

1921: Accompanied by Sir Herbert Samuel and T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) Winston Churchill left Egypt for Palestine to begin his projected four week long fact finding tour.

1922: Birthdate of comedian Marty Allen.

1924: Moses Cattaui Pashe, President of the Jewish Kehillah of Cairo, Egypt passed away.

1937: It was reported today that sixty-four year old Jacob de Haas one of the last surviving founding fathers of the Zionist movement had passed away

1938: In New York, Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver of Cleveland delivered his first address as national chairman of the United Palestine Appeal. After being introduced by Louis Nizer, associate chairman of the division and chairman of the Film Board of Trade, Rabbi Silver asked a luncheon meeting of more than 100 theatrical and motion picture executives to support the drive to raise $4,500,000 to support Zionist activities. He gave a glowing account of the progress that had been in creating a Jewish Homeland. He spoke specifically about the challenges created by the worsening situation in Europe and the efforts that have been to settle refugees, especially those from Germany, in Eretz Israel. Silver equated the Zionist work in Palestine with the fight against the rise of totalitarianism.

1938. Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver spoke to a meeting of the Long Island Conference for Palestine at the Jamaica Jewish Center this evening. The more than 1,000 attendees representing thirty-four communities in Queens, Nassau and Suffolk counties adopted a resolution agreeing to raise $75,000 for the United Palestine Appeal.

1938: Birthdate of Michael Kaufman. A native of Paris, whose Polish born parents brought him to New York in 1941, Kaufman became a “foreign correspondent, reporter and columnist for The New York Times who chronicled despotic regimes in Europe and Africa, the fall of Communism and the changing American scene for four decades”

1940: The All-India-Muslim League called for a Muslim homeland in the Indian sub-continent. The British response would be to partition India into a Hindu state of India and a Moslem state, Pakistan. The demands of the by the Muslims living in India were part of a wave of Muslim nationalism that had been sweeping the lands of North Africa and the Middle East since the start of the 20th century. The conflict in Palestine should be viewed within that context. The similarity of the British response in Palestine and India (Partition) is also worth noting.

1940: David Samuel Margoliouth, the Oxford University Professor whose father Ezekiel had converted from Judaism to Anglicanism passed away today.

1942: Of the approximately 4,000 remaining Jews in Lublin, Poland 2,500 were massacred and the rest of them were deported to Majdanek for extermination. At the start of the war, 40,000 of the 125,000 inhabitants of Lublin had been Jewish.

1943 (16th of Adar II, 5703): Twenty-nine Jewish orphans at La Rose Orphanage in Les Accates, France, as well as Alice Salomon, the guardian who refused to leave them two months before, were gassed at the Sobibor death camp. The Alice Salomon mentioned here is not to be confused with the famed German intellectual who fled Nazi Germany before World War II and passed away in New York in 1948. At the same time, one must wonder who says Kaddish for this otherwise unknown brave soul and the 29 youngsters who were in her care.

1943: In France, 4000 Jews were deported from Marseilles, interned briefly at Drancy, France, and then deported to Sobibór

1943: The Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple stood up in front of the House of Lords in London and pleaded with the British government to help the Jews of Europe. "We at this moment have upon us a tremendous responsibility," he said. "We stand at the bar of history, of humanity, and of God." Ever since news of Hitler's plan to annihilate the Jews of Europe reached the public in late 1942, British church leaders and members of Parliament had been agitating for something to be done. Temple's plea marked the culmination of the clamoring.

1944: British Major-General Orde Wingate died in airplane crash while fighting the Japanese in Burma during World War II. ” Orde Wingate passionately embraced the prophetic vision of Jewish redemption and the Jews' ultimate return to Eretz Yisrael. During his service in Eretz Yisrael, he worked to help realize that ideal. In 1936 he was transferred to Eretz Yisrael, and served there for the next three years. Wingate arrived in Eretz Yisrael as an intelligence officer at a time when small bands of Arab rioters were regularly attacking both the British and the Jews. To counter this offensive, Wingate organized and trained “Special Night Squads,” comprised primarily of Haganah fighters, which were successfully employed throughout the Yishuv. Their tactics were based on the strategic principles of surprise, mobility, and night attacks and they served effectively both as defensive and offensive units, successfully pre-empting and resisting Arab attacks. Wingate maintained good contacts with the heads of the Yishuv and the Haganah. He learned Hebrew, and he demonstrated his ardent belief that the Jews were entitled to their homeland in Eretz Yisrael. He also recognized the need for a working military force, and he dreamed of heading the army of the future Jewish state. Because of his efforts and support, he was called in the Yishuv “ha-yedid,” the friend. Wingate's intense support for the Zionist viewpoint, however, was controversial, and in 1939 the British succumbed to Arab pressure and transferred Wingate from Eretz Yisrael. His passport was stamped with the restriction that he not be allowed to re-enter the country. His personal involvement with the Zionist cause was thus curtailed, but many of those he trained became heads of the Palmach and, later, the Israel Defense Forces. Wingate's friendship for the Yishuv and his contributions to its defense has been recognized through the several places in Israel named for him, including the College of Physical Education near Netanya."

1944: At Ioannina in Greece, 1,860 Jews were seized by the Nazis and deported to Auschwitz.

1947: The executive committee of the Jewish Agency for Palestine ended its deliberations today. The committee has been meeting in Jerusalem to plan tactics for the upcoming special session of the United Nations being held to deal with the issue of Palestine.

1948: David Ben-Gurion “cabled the United States State Department a warning that he and his colleagues would with all of their strength oppose any postponement of Jewish independence.” The U.S. State Department, the body that had done so much to keep Jews from getting to the United States during the Hitler period, was busy trying to sabotage President Truman’s support of partition and the creation of a Jewish state.

1949: Israel and Lebanon signed an armistice agreement. Israeli troops withdrew from border towns they had occupied during the fighting. Lebanon would not become a major area of operations until decades later when the PLO was thrown out of Jordan and took refuge in Lebanon.

1949: In an attempt to break the deadlock between Israel and Transjordan over the shape of the border between the two states, Yigael Yadin, Walter Eytan, Moshe Dayan and Yehoshafat Harkabi (future director of Israeli Military Intelligence) went to meet King Abdullah at his villa in Shuneh Yigal. Yadin’s flawless recitation of apoem in Arabic served as an icebreaker. Despite initial setbacks, the two sides would reach an understanding that night.

1950: “The new Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Msgr. Alberto Gori, paid his first official visit to Israel today. He met the diplomatic corps and senior officers of the Foreign Affairs, Interior and Religious Affairs Ministries at a reception in Jaffa.”

1951(15th of Adar II, 5711): Michael H. Cardozo Jr. of 163 East Eighty-first Street, veteran attorney, passed away today in his office at 115 Broadway at the age 70. He was a cousin of the late Associate Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo of the United States Supreme Court.

1962: In its review of the Broadway musical “I Can Get It for You Wholesale,” The New York Timesproclaimed "The evening's find is Barbara Streisand, a girl with an oafish expression, a loud irascible voice and an arpeggiated laugh. Miss Streisand is a natural comedienne" By the time Streisand made her Broadway debut in “I Can Get It for You Wholesale,” she had already developed a loyal following as a singer. In performances at the Lion Club, one of New York City's premier gay clubs, and in other clubs around the country, the young Streisand developed her trademark outsider persona, impromptu one-liners, and theatrical delivery that brought audiences to their feet. Streisand's performance as Miss Marmelstein in I Can Get It for You Wholesale was so successful that the role was expanded for her, with new songs added. Despite national acclaim for her performance, she was considered too Jewish, too eccentric, too unattractive, and too marked by her Brooklyn upbringing for a record contract. When Columbia Records finally released The Barbra Streisand Album in 1964, however, it remained on the charts for eighteen months. Streisand's movie debut in Funny Girl four years later, in the Oscar-winning role of comedian Fanny Brice, cemented her place among the stars of American theatre and film.

1963: Rolf Hochhuth's "Der Stellvertreter" (The Deputy), premiered in Berlin. The Catholic Church was outraged at the portrayal of Pius XII as being complicit in the murder of the Jews of Europe.

1964(10th of Nisan, 5724): Actor Peter Lorre passed away passed away at the age of 59. Born Ladislav (László) Löwenstein in what was then the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Lorre gained fame as a character actor with parts in such films as Casablanca and Arsenic and Old Lace. In the 1930’s he played the title character the Mr. Motto detective films.

1972 (8th of Nisan, 5732): Rabbi Chaim Meir Hager, who had been revered as Vizhnitzer Rebbe for 35 years, passed away in Israel tonight.

1978: The first UNIFIL troops arrived in Lebanon for peacekeeping mission along the Blue Line. The Blue Line was a demarcation between Israeli and PLO forces.

1980: In “The Two Faces of Israel’s Masada: Glory and Tragedy,” Carmia Borek describes the varying view of this famous Jewish landmark.

1980: Birthdate of Asaf Avidan an Israeli folk/rock musician known for his breakthrough debut album, "The Reckoning", which was created with a group of backup musicians under the name "Asaf Avidan and the Mojos". The album received positive critical reviews and earned Avidan a nomination for Best Israeli Artist at the upcoming MTV Europe Awards.

1980: Release date in the United States for “Christ Stopped at Eboli” (Italian: Cristo si è fermato a Eboli), a 1979 film adaptation of the book of the same name by Carlo Levi.

1981: Shimon Peres said in Tel Aviv today his party would make an effort to negotiate the future status of Jerusalem with Saudi Arabia and would look seriously at the possibility of peace with the Saudis.

1985: Jewish singer Billy Joel wed supermodel Christie Brinkley

1986(12th of Adar II, 5746): Rabbi Moshe Feinstein passed away.


1989: Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann (who was a Jewish refugee from Nazi Europe) announced that they had unlocked the mystery of cold fusion at the University of Utah.

1993: A third revival of “3 Men On A Horse” a play co-authored by George Abbott with a cast that included Tony Randall, Jack Klugman and Jerry Stiller began previews at the Lyceum Theatre.

1994(11th of Nisan, 5754): Victor Lashchiver, employed as a guard at the Income Tax offices in East Jerusalem, was shot and killed by terrorists near Damascus Gate on his way to work. The Popular Front claimed responsibility for the attack.

1995(21st of Adar II, 5755): Author and screenwriter Irving Shulman passed away at the age of 81. One of Shulman’s most enduring works was “What Makes Sammy Run?”

1997(14th of Adar II, 5757): Purim

1997: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including "The Vulnerable Observer Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart" by Ruth Behar and "The Journey Home Jewish Women and the American Century" by Joyce Antler. Among the more than 50 Jewish women chronicled in this tome are: Sonya Abuza, an overweight immigrant in Hartford who had been deserted by her husband, later became famous as a ''Gypsy of the footlights'' named Sophie Tucker. Henrietta Szold, the eldest of five daughters of a distinguished Baltimore rabbi, established Hadassah, the largest women's Zionist group in the world, in 1912. Ruth Gruber, who at 20 was declared the youngest person in the world to hold a doctorate, flew a secret mission for President Franklin D. Roosevelt during World War II to help 1,000 refugees find asylum in Oswego, N.Y. Goldie Mabovich Meyerson was born in Kiev, was raised and married in Milwaukee, then moved to Palestine in 1921, where, known as Golda Meir, she became Prime Minister of Israel. In this unique volume, Joyce Antler, who teaches American studies at Brandeis University, blends history, anecdote and biography to emphasize the achievement of these women, who attempted to satisfy family, God and their own dreams at the same time. The book illuminates their struggles for identity as well as the sexism and anti-Semitism they encountered.

2003(19th of Adar II, 5763): Fritz Spiegl passed away. Born in 1926, Fritz Spiegl was an Austrian-born musician, journalist, broadcaster, humorist and collector. He fled to England in 1939 to escape the Nazis. He lived and worked there until his death.

2003: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of interest to Jewish readers including Regarding "The Pain of Others" by Susan Sontag and "Ending the Vietnam War: A History of America's Involvement in and Extrication From the Vietnam War" by Henry Kissinger.

2005: March Madness, the popular name for the national American collegiate basketball champion competition took on a Jewish twist. A sixteen year old feud was reignited by comments made by Deon Thomas a professional basketball player for Maccabi Tel Aviv about University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Coach Bruce Pearl, whose skill at bringing his unheralded hoopsters to the Sweet Sixteen may mark him as the next Red Auerbach.

2005: The Ensemble for the Romantic Century presented Fanny Mendelssohn: Out of Her Brother’s Shadow, a theatrical concert featuring the music of Fanny Mendelssohn at the Jewish Museum in New York.

2007(4th of Nisan, 5767: Paul J. Cohen, American mathematician, and winner of the Fields Medal, passed away.

2007: Tal Friedman sang with “The Krayot” band in Tel Aiv today.

2007: An international conference for Jewish theater professionals, artists, and aficionados hosted by The Association for Jewish Theatre in conjunction with the Jewish Theatre of Austria comes to an end.

2008: An exhibition organized by guest curator Murray Zimiles entitled “Gilded Lions and Jeweled Horses: The Synagogue to the Carousel has its last showing at the American Folk Art Museum.

2008: The Sunday New York Times book section featured a review of "Liberty Of Conscience: In Defense of America’s Tradition of Religious Equality" by Martha C. Nussbaum.

2008: The Washington Post book section featured a review of Mark Evanier’s "Kirby: King of Comics" that describes the life and times of Jack Kirby, the son of Austrian Jewish immigrants who had such an impact on the comic book genre including the creation of The Fantastic Four, The Hulk and Captain America.

2008: As IAF pilots began undergoing tests for cancer, a team of technical personnel from the Israel Air Force flew to Fort Worth, Texas, for consultations with their American counterparts and Lockheed Martin concerning the recent discovery of carcinogenic material in an Israeli F-16I.

2008(16th of Adar II, 5768): Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum, an ultra-Orthodox educator and innovator who created a series of dial-in phone lines with lectures on sacred texts, died today at the age of 68

2009: At Rutgers University, Professor Martin Bunzl, director of the Program in Jewish Culture and Society, University of Illinois at Urbana delivers a lecture on Israel, Islamophobia, and the Right Wing in Europe entitled “The New Philo-Semitism.”

2009: Sports Illustrated magazine reported on the recent death of 86 year old Bill Davidson who amassed a fortune in the glass business owner the Detroit Pistons for 35 years and free spending philanthropists. The magazine also noted that Davidson had run track at Michigan and “was a charter member of the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

2009: The Aviv String Quartet, founded in Israel in 1997, performs at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa.

2009: In the on-going sage of what was once the country’s leading kosher slaughtering operation four companies bid for the assets of Agriprocessors in an auction that began today. The bidding ended this evening night with offers reaching as high as $5.5 million.

2010: The AIPAC Policy Conference comes to a close.

2010: The New York Times Knowledge Network and the Israeli Consulate are scheduled to team up together to present the opening night of a weeklong event entitled The New Israeli Cuisine in which participants will take a tour through the fascinating evolution of Israel's culinary scene. A melting pot of more than 60 different ethnicities - from India to Morocco to Argentina - Israeli cuisine is one of the world's fastest emerging kitchens.

2010: The Temple Mount Human Rights Group has scheduled a gathering for today in front of the Mashbir department store in Jerusalem. The theme of the gathering is, "The time has come for our liberation - to be a free people on our mountain" which plays on the chorus of the national anthem Hatikvah, which talks about the Jews being "a free people in our land".

2010: The President of the United States and the Prime Minister of Israel met this evening in Washington, D.C.

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