April 12 In History

70(15thof Nissan, 3830): According to some, the date on the civil calendar when Pesach is observed for the last time before the destruction of the Second Temple.

1204: During the Fourth Crusade, Venetian and French crusaders seize Constantinople. The Crusades were a disaster for much of the Jewish population of Europe. But the Jewish suffering was really an offshoot of Christian enmity towards Muslims or, in the case, hostility between two wings of Christianity and good old fashion commercial greed.

1451: A Flemish scholar recorded his observation of the Jews of Fez (Morocco): "Fez is divided in two parts. The Old City quite populous with about 50,000 families…The Jewish quarter is surrounded by its own walls. Approximately 4,000 Jews dwell there...The more the sultan needs money, the more they have to pay."

1454: In the on-going struggle between Islam and Christianity John of Capistrano called for a crusade against the Turks. Such a crusade was started in Cracow, but never left the city. Over thirty Jews were killed and their homes plundered. The crusade later expanded to include Posen and the surrounding area.

1464(4th of Iyar, 5224): Thirty Jews were killed in Cracow

1577: Birthdate of King Christian IV of Denmark. Christian reversed a prohibition against Jews living in Denmark that dated back to 1536.  He gave permission to a Jewish merchant named Albert Dionis to settle in the newly founded city of Glückstadt. More Jews followed and in 1628 their rights were formally recognized.  By the time Christian passed away in 1648, Jews could have their own cemeteries, hold religious services and enjoyed the protection of the civil law.

1755:1st of Iyar, 5515): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1769: “The Public Advertiser” attributed the origin of April Fool’s Day to the Jews based on the story of Noah sending out the dove looking for dry land after the flood.

1777: Birthdate of Henry Clay.  As a United States Senator, Clay would lead the fight against ratifying a treaty with the Swiss Confederation that discriminated against Jewish Americans.

1792: Birthdate of Heimann (Chaim) Michael, the Hamburg native who gained fame as “a Hebrew bibliographer.”

1838: Today, in Georgia, "Benjamin Davis advertised in the Columbus Enquirer that he had for sale 'Sixty Likely Virginia Negroes- House Servants, Field Hands, Blow boys, Cooks, Washers, Ironers, and three first-rate Seamstresses." The Davis family, who lived at Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia, owned "the largest Jewish slave-trading firm in the South." [This ad ran six days after the end of Pesach.]

1853: During the Small Swords Society’s Uprising, formation of The Shanghai Volunteer Corps, a part time military unit that would survive until 1942 and whose Jewish members included  Noel S. Jacobs and Mendel Brown.  During the 1930’s Captain Brown commanded an all Jewish Company in the Corps and Rabbi Brown, who has head of the Sephardic community in Shanghai served as Chaplain.

1859: Sir Moses Montefiore was informed today that the Pope has refused to enter into any discussion concerning Edgar Mortara and he considered what has become known as the Mortara Affair to be “a closed question.”

1861: Confederate batteries fired on Fort Sumter marking the start of the Civil War. Confederate forces would include the five Moses brothers from South Carolina, the six Cohen brothers from North Carolina, the three Levy brothers from Virginia and the three Levy brothers from Louisiana as well as a Mississippian named Max Ullman who later became a rabbi in Birmingham, Alabama, David Camden de Leon who was the C.S.A.’s surgeon-general and Levi Meyers Harby the naval officer who commanded the defenses of Galveston Harbor and served as skipper of the CSS Neptune.

1861: As Confederate batteries open fire on Fort Sumter, Major Alfred Mordecai, "a senior officer in the Ordnance Department of the United States was testing artillery carriages at Fort Monroe, Virginia."  Mordecai was the most prominent Jew serving in the United States Army.  He was well-regarded for his professional skill and integrity.  But Mordecai was a native Southerner and the Confederates would attempt to get him to join their cause.  After much soul searching, Mordecai would resign from the U.S. Army but would refuse to join the Confederates.  His son had no such qualms and served gallantly with the Union Army.

1862(12th of Nisan, 5622): Shabbat HaGadol

1862: In a published speech delivered in Berlin Ferdinand “Lassalle assigned primacy in society to the press over the state itself in the aftermath of the 1848 revolution – an assertion regarded as dangerous by the Prussian censorship. The entire print run of 3000 copies of the pamphlet of Lassalle's speech was seized by the authorities, who issued a legal charge against Lassalle for allegedly endangering the public peace.”

1864: “Max Glass, an Austrian immigrant and volunteer in the Union Army appealed to Major General Benjamin Butler to clear him of charges of desertion.”  Glass had been the victim of anti-Semitic abuse and had only left his unit so that he go to the army’s headquarters to get redress for his grievances.  There must have been some merit to his claim since Butler, who was no friend of the Jews, cleared him of the charges that could have meant his death but ordered him back to the regiment. (As reported by Abraham Bloch)

1865: Private Louis Leon, who a Rebel soldier being held at Elmira, NY following his capture 11 months ago “heard that Lee had surrendered.”  He joined 400 of his fellow prisoners in taking the oath of allegiance thus gaining his release today, which included transportation back to North Carolina.

1872: It was reported today that Rowland Davies, the only surviving founder of the Hebrew Benevolent Orphan Asylum Society, attended last night’s 50th anniversary celebration held at the Academy of Music.

1873(15thof Nisan, 5633): Pesach

1880: Birthdate of Isaac Siegel a Republican political leader who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from March, 1915 until March, 1923.

1880: Acting on behalf of the “Union of American Hebrew Congregations,” A.C Solomon and Simon Wolf requested the Secretary of State investigate the reports of the suffering that Russian Jews are enduring and to intervene on their behalf with the Czar’s government.

1880(1stof Iyar, 5640): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

1881: It was reported today that the ball sponsored by the Purim Association raised $18,817.24 which is earmarked for the building fund of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

1882: Several Jews were “severely wounded” and one was killed during a riot in Dubosarif, Russia.

1884: Birthdate of Otto Meyerhof. The German born psychologist and biochemist won the Nobel Prize in 1922.

1890(22nd of Nisan, 5650): 8th day of Pesach

1890: It was reported today that during the month of March, the United Hebrew Charities had provided aid in the amount of $3,677.50 835 families with a total population of 3,589 people. This was in addition to the items such as shoes, coal, clothing, medicine and food that it had given to its existing case load which had grown by another 1,306 people during the last month.

1890: It was reported today of the most recent 2,186 Jewish immigrants to register at Castle Garden, 1,507 had stayed in New York.

1892(15thNisan, 5652): Jews observe the last Pesach before what will become the Great Depression of the 1890’s

1892: The New York Court of Appeals that the North American Relief Society is not entitled to $50,000 under the terms of the will of the late Sampson Simpson.

1894: Among the 5,000 children attending today’s performance of Barnum and Bailey’s Great Show at Madison Square Garden were those in the care of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society and the Hebrew Instituted

1895: The celebration of 50th anniversary of Temple Emanu-El began this evening at 5 pm with the regular Friday Night Services featuring a special sermon Rabbi Gustav Gottheil entitled “Stretching Out of his Wings Through the Breadth of the Land.”

1895:  Tragedy struck the family of Mrs. Eva Abrahams today during Chol HaMoed Pesach.  While preparing breakfast this morning, she accidently poured oil on her dress which then caught fire.  As the flames filled the tenement, Mrs. Abrahams picked up her sleeping two week old baby and rushed out into the hall where she gave the baby to a neighbor.  Then she went back into the burning room and carried out her sleeping two year old son.  Mrs. Abrahams was badly burned.  She is now lying in a bed at Gouverneur Hospital “at the point of death.”

1896: The Hebrew Charity Hospital was among those organizations that will benefit from tonight’s competition between various musical and athletic clubs being held at the Grand Central Palace on Lexington Avenue.

1896: The Hebrew Infant Asylum received over one thousand dollars from that the Young Folks’ League had raised at its first benefit performance in New York.

1899: Dr. Lee Frankel of Philadelphia has accepted the position of manager of the United Hebrew Charities.  The position has been vacant since February when N.S. Rosenau was forced to resign because of his health.

1903(15thof Nisan, 5663): Pesach

1903: Birthdate of distinguished Family Court judge and children's advocate Justine Wise Polier.

1903 (15th of Nisan, 5663): The New York Times reported that “at sundown last evening in the homes of all orthodox Jews the beginning of the Passover was celebrated.  In the souther section of the city, east of the Bowery, all signs of commercial activit ceased and the Jewish families gather in their homes to eat the paschal lamb and hear the elders read the story of the deliverance from bondage.”

1908: Henry Asquith became Prime Minister of Great Britain today and appointed two rising stars to his cabinet and future Prime Ministers to his cabinet – David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill. Lloyd George would be the Prime Minister whose government issued the Balfour Declaration; a document he would continue to champion during the 1920’s when such support ceased to be “fashionable.” Churchill enjoyed the support of friendship of members of the Jewish community, supported the Balfour Declaration and was a personal friend of Chaim Weizmann. This personal friendship did not keep Churchill from turning his back on the Zionists in the waning days of WW II.

1908: Fifty-seven year old Charles Adelle Lewis Totten passed away.  A West Point graduate and Professor at Yale, among other things, he supported Jewish settlement in Palestine in the 1890’s before Herzl and Zionism.

1908: Friends and members of the Free Synagogue celebrated the first anniversary of  its founding at its place of worship on 81st Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues.

1911(14th of Nisan, 5671): This evening, the Young Men’s Hebrew Association will host a public seder in New York and “special services” will be held for the Jewish immigrants currently detained at Ellis Island.

1912: Mr. and Mrs. Nathan Straus reached arrived in London from visiting Palestine.  However, they arrived too to join his brother and sister-in-law – Isidor and Ida Straus – for the return voyage to the United States.  The ship carrying Isidor and his wife had sailed from Southampton on April 10.  Their ship was the SS Titanic. Nathan had been delayed because he had spent extra time helping to provide for the Jewish community in Eretz Israel.

1912: Birthdate of David Ginsburg, “a liberal lawyer and longtime Washington insider who helped found the Americans for Democratic Action and led the presidential commission on race relations whose report, in 1968, warned that the United States was 'moving toward two societies — one black, one white, separate and unequal’.”

1912: Birthdate of Elinor Sophia Coleman, who as Elinor Guggenheimer, the wife of Ralph Guggenheimer became an advocate for women, children and the elderly. (As reported by Douglas Martin)

1914 A column entitled “Art Notes,” describes an illustrated article by Ella Mielziner in the American Hebrew that describes the treatment of Passover by a variety of artists ranging from the Renaissance masters of the Florentine and Venetian schools to modern painters including Alma Tadema and Sir Frederick Leighton

1922: In Camden, NJ, the first issue of the “Beth-Elite,” the newsletter of Congregation Beth El appeared just before Pesach.

1929:Yehudi Menuhinwas soloist with Bruno Walter and the Berlin Philharmonic in a daunting program of concertos by Bach, Beethoven, and Brahms.’

1935: Germany prohibited publishing "not-Arian" writers.

1935: The office of the High Commissioner of Palestine announced “a new law empowering the municipalities to fix a weekly day of rest.  The law as fixed by each municipality will govern all the inhabitants of that town. The basis of the new ordinance is a by-law drafted by the municipality of Tel Aviv which defines Saturday as the city’s day of rest.”

1938: The Polish steamer Polonia lands 250 passengers at Tel Aviv, making it the second ship to use the world’s first “Jewish port.”

1939: Birthdate of Ilan Chet, the native of Haifa who became a noted microbiologist and professor at Hebrew University.

1941(15th of Nisan, 5701): First Day of the last Pesach before the United States enters World War II.

1941(15th of Nisan, 5701): On Shabbat the first Bar Mitzvah took place in Iceland.

1941(15th of Nisan, 5701):  As German troops entered Belgrade, Yugoslavia, a Jewish tailor who spit on the arriving troops was shot dead. Jewish shops and homes in Belgrade were ransacked by both German soldiers and resident Germans

1941: The Germans announced publicly that anyone caught leaving the Lodz Ghetto would be shot.

1941: “Hungarian forces entered Novi-Sad and immediately began terrorizing the Jewish and Serbian residents. Men between the ages of 16-65 were enlisted in labor battalions, some of which were sent to the front, primarily in the Ukraine, where they were forced to clear land mines, most of them dying in the process.” (As reported by Yad VaShem

1942: To maintain the deception that all was well and to better control the population, 115,000 of the Jews remaining in Lodz ghetto were told that the 100,000 Jews already deported (and in actuality gassed in Chelmno), were safe and staying in a camp near Warthburcken. Kolo was actually the town near Chelmno.

1943: An Anglo-American Conference opens in Bermuda.  The conference was supposed to come up with ways of saving European refugees (in reality the Jews of Europe).  During the 12 days of meetings it became obvious that the Foreign Office and the State Department would do nothing including relaxing immigration quotas or opening Palestine to Jewish immigrants.

1944: ‘Who has made us Jews different to all other people? Who has allowed us to suffer so terribly up till now? It is God that has made us as we are, but it will be God, too, who will raise us up again. . ." From the daily entry of the Diary of Anne Frank

1944:  Lillian Hellman's "Searching Wind", premiered in New York City.

1944: Jacob Bronowski and Rita Coblentz gave birth to British historian Lisa Anne Jardin

1945:General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, to visit Ohrdruf Concentration camp with Generals George S. Patton and Omar Bradley. After his visit, Eisenhower cabled General George C. Marshall, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, describing his trip to Ohrdruf:

. . .the most interesting--although horrible--sight that I encountered during the trip was a visit to a German internment camp near Gotha. The things I saw beggar description. While I was touring the camp I encountered three men who had been inmates and by one ruse or another had made their escape. I interviewed them through an interpreter. The visual evidence and the verbal testimony of starvation, cruelty and bestiality were so overpowering as to leave me a bit sick. In one room, where they were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said that he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to 'propaganda.'

Ohrdruf made a powerful impression on General George S. Patton as well. He described it as "one of the most appalling sights that I have ever seen." He recounted in his diary that

In a shed . . . was a pile of about 40 completely naked human bodies in the last stages of emaciation. These bodies were lightly sprinkled with lime, not for the purposes of destroying them, but for the purpose of removing the stench. When the shed was full--I presume its capacity to be about 200, the bodies were taken to a pit a mile from the camp where they were buried. The inmates claimed that 3,000 men, who had been either shot in the head or who had died of starvation, had been so buried since the 1st of January. When we began to approach with our troops, the Germans thought it expedient to remove the evidence of their crime. Therefore, they had some of the slaves exhume the bodies and place them on a mammoth griddle composed of 60-centimeter railway tracks laid on brick foundations. They poured pitch on the bodies and then built a fire of pinewood and coal under them. They were not very successful in their operations because there was a pile of human bones, skulls, charred torsos on or under the griddle which must have accounted for many hundreds

1945:Birthdate of Irving D. Rubin who served as chairman of the Jewish Defense League (JDL) from 1985 to 2002.

1945: Franklin D. Roosevelt died at Warm Springs, Georgia. Roosevelt had been quite popular with Jewish voters and Jews certainly benefited from his Presidency.  Many years after the war, historians began to raise issues of the American role concerning the plight of European Jewry and the lack of active intervention to save at least some of the Six Million. But nothing can diminish the core of his accomplishments - saving America from the ravages of the Great Depression while creating a more just society and the defeat of the Axis powers.  He was not a saint, but he was great.

1945: Vice President Harry Truman was sworn in as President of the United following the death of Franklin Roosevelt. No matter what, Truman will always be a hero among Jews for supporting the U.N. resolution that in effect created the state of Israel and for recognizing the state of Israel at the moment of its birth.  He did this in spite of strong opposition from advisors in the Defense and State departments.

1945: Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp Westerbork, Netherlands

1946(11th of Nisan, 5706): Henry Benisch, the American representative of Meyer and Studlei, the Swiss-based watchmaker, and brother of Dr. Max Benisch of Tel Aviv passed away at the age of 60.

1948: The Haganah attacked the Arab Liberation Army commanded by Fawzi al-Kaukji at Mishmar Ha-Emek.  Kaukji had captured the Jewish settlement by using heavy artillery given him by the Syrian Army.  Unfortunately for Kaukji, Mishmar Ha-Emek had been used as a secret training base by the Haganah.  The smaller, poorly armed Jewish force took advantage of their unique knowledge to defeat the superior Arab force.

1949: Birthdate of American attorney turned author, Scott Turow.

1950: Tonight, Yehudi Menuhin began a concert tour of Israel with a performance in the Tel Aviv auditorium.

1951: The Knesset (Israel's Parliament) passed a resolution setting 27 Nissan as Yom Hashoah or Holocaust Remembrance Day. Yom is the Hebrew word for 'day' and Shoah is the Hebrew word for 'whirlwind.'  Shoah is the Hebrew term for the War Against the Jews that claimed over six million lives between 1938 and 1945. In Israel, a morning siren sounds, stopping all activity; people stand in honor of those who died. Jews around the world hold memorials and vigils, often lighting six candles in honor of the six million Holocaust victims. Many hold name-reading ceremonies to memorialize those who perished. There are many websites to consult for this observance including those supported by Yad Vashem and the Holocaust Memorial Museum.  Here is another that you might want to look at as well. www.jewishpost.com/holocaust/

1953(27th of Nisan, 5713): Yom HaShoah

1954: A board of inquiry led by Gordon Gay, known as the Gray Board, began hearings as part of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s appeal of the suspension of his security clearance.  By a vote of 4 to 1, the board would oppose the appeal thus ending Oppenheimer’s chance to regain his security clearance.  This was the ignominious way in which the “Father of the Atomic Bomb” was treated by his government.

1955: After almost two years of testing and opposition Jonas Salk in the presence of 700 scientists was recognized for discovering a vaccine for the prevention of poliomyelitis. His work together with Albert Sabin, who later developed an oral vaccine, drove this paralyzing disease from much of the world. In recognition he received Presidential Citation and the Congressional Medal for Distinguished Achievement.

1955: Public announcement was made that Dr Jonas Salk had successfully tested his Polio vaccine.  For the first time, there was a way for people to avoid this scourge which attacked tens of thousands each year, leaving thousands of its victims paralyzed for life. Salk was actually one of three Jewish doctors who played a prominent part in the race to find a polio vaccine. His success was preceded by the work of a Polish born American Jew named Hilary Koprowski. Albert Sabin, a Russian born American Jew, developed an oral vaccine that supplanted Salk’s early product.

1958(22nd of Nisan, 5718): 8th day of Pesach

1959: Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Norm Sherry plays in his first major league baseball game.  Norm joined his brother Larry as the only Jewish battery in baseball.  Together, they led the 1959 Dodgers to a World Series Championship.

1959: Youth Aliyah celebrated Child’s Day at a ceremony in the Israeli Consulate in New York City.  Alan Parter, the 14 year old president of student council at Larchmont Temple Religious School presented Simcah Pratt, the Counsel General, with a sack containing 600 silver dollars which had been collected by Alan and his fellow students.

1960(15thof Nisan, 5720): As a crowd of Democratic candidates including JFK, LBJ, Adlai and HHH are fighting for their party’s Presidential nomination, Jews observe Pesach

1968(14th of Nisan, 5728): In the evening, Pesach begins with the first Seder held in a re-united Jerusalem.

1969: Simon & Garfunkel released "The Boxer"

1971: Birthdate of Eyal Golan, (אייל גולן‎;) “a popular Israeli singer who sings in the Mizrahi style. Golan is one of the most successful singers of the Mizrahi genre in Israel. Except for his debut album, all of his studio albums became platinum albums, and most were sold in hundreds of thousands of copies, Eyal Golan's channel on Youtube has garnered over 17 million views as of July 2010 with five of his videos having garnered over a million views, and two have garnered over 2 million views making him one of Israel's most clicked artists.”

1981: Israel today conditionally approved the reported French initiative to deploy a new United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon. At the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Government ministers welcomed the proposal but said that the envisaged force should replace the Syrian troops in Lebanon rather than serve as a buffer between the Syrians and the Christian Phalangists.

1981: Deborah Benjamin, professionally known as Deborah Hart, and Gerald Strober were married this afternoon at Congregation Bnai Jeshurun, by Rabbi William Berkowitz, president of the Jewish National Fund, and spiritual leader of the congregation. The bride is a music columnist and feature writer for The Jewish Week, a weekly newspaper, Mr. Strober, who is national director of The American Friends of Tel Aviv University in New York, is author of five books, including ''American Jews: Community in Crisis,'' and ''Aflame for God: The Jerry Falwell Story.''

1983: Gregory Allen winner of the 1980 Arthur Rubinstein Piano Competition in Tel Aviv and a member of the piano faculty of the University of Texas in Austin gave a recital tonight at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

1984: “Four armed Arab guerillas from the Gaza Strip reached Ashdod where they boarded, as paying passengers, an Egged Bus No. 300 en route from Tel Aviv to Ashkelon with 41 passengers.” Shortly after the bus left the station at 7:30 pm, the terrorists hijacked the bus.

1987: Israeli military helicopters rocketed roads near Shiite Moslem villages in southern Lebanon today, killing two people and wounding four others, according to the state-controlled radio. The reported action came after a group calling itself the ''Islamic Resistance Movement'' said Moslem guerrillas had killed nine Israeli soldiers in an overnight rocket and machine-gun attack inside the belt of Lebanese territory just north of the Israeli border that the Israelis call their security zone. The radio said a number of helicopters from the Israeli Air Force strafed and fired rockets at roads in the district of Merj 'Uyun close to the zone. The radio added that the Israelis had moved reinforcements into the six-mile-deep enclave they control.

1987: Randi Joy Rosenberg and Matthew David Steele were married today at Temple Beth-El in Great Neck, L.I. Mrs. Steele is a petroleum engineer who until recently was a consultant to the East Mediterranean Oil and Gas Company in Tel Aviv.

1987: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including Out of Step: An Unquiet Life in the 20th Century by Sidney Hook.

1989(7th of Nisan, 5749):  Abbie Hoffmann, American radical, passed away.


1990: At the first meeting of the German Democratic Republic’s first democratically elected Parliament, the East German legislators acknowledged responsibility for the Nazi holocaust and asked for forgiveness. The German Democratic Republic, known in the West as East Germany had been a Communist dictatorship.  The de-Nazification process in Germany had really taken place in West Germany.  In the Communist Zone, the contention was that by adopting Communism, atonement had been made.  Or so their Soviet masters told the tale.

1997(5th of Nisan, 5757): Latvian born Israeli bible scholar Nechama Leibowitz passed away. Her accomplishments are amazing in their own right.  They are even more so when you consider the male-dominated world in which worked, study and taught. For a collection of her commentaries on each of the weekly portions which are called “Gilyonot” see


1998: The New York Times featured reviews of books by Jewish authors and/or of interest to Jewish readers including Tough Jews by Rich Cohen.

1999: As part of the Millennium Lecture Series hosted by President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in the East Room of the White House, Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel delivered a very moving speech. His topic for the lecture was "The Perils of Indifference." He framed the following question: "We are on the threshold of a new century, a new millennium. What will the legacy of this vanishing century be? How will it be remembered in the new millennium? Surely it will be judged, and judged severely, in both moral and metaphysical terms." Wiesel went on to enumerate the great tragedies of the last century, and then concluded this litany with "So much violence, so much indifference." Wiesel then spent the rest of his speech on the significance of indifference. To him, indifference is more dangerous than anger and hatred. "Anger," he stated, "at times can be creative. Even hatred at times may elicit a response. But indifference is not a response. It is not a beginning, it is an end and it is always a friend of the enemy. It is not only a sin, it is a punishment and this is one of the most important lessons of this outgoing century's wide-ranging experiment in good and evil."

1999: In “Paying for Auschwitz” published today. Roger Rosenblatt draws on the experiences of his great uncle who survived the Nazi death camp, as he questions the attempts to put a dollar sign on the Holocaust.


2001: Advancing Women Professionals and the Jewish Community, a project dedicated to shattering the glass ceiling, was launched today.

2005(3rd of Nisan, 5765): Ehud Manor (אהוד מנור) passed away. Born in 1941, he “was an Israeli songwriter, translator, and radio and TV personality. He composed many well-known songs, including "Ein Li Eretz Acheret" (I Have No Other Country), "Brit Olam" (World Covenant), "BaShanah HaBa'ah" (In The Next Year), "Zo Yalduti HaShniya" (This Is My Second Childhood), and "Achi HaTza'ir Yehuda" (My Younger Brother Yehuda). He wrote over 1,250 Hebrew compositions, and translated more than 600 works into Hebrew, including such Broadway hits as Cabaret and Les Misérables. He wrote the lyrics to many Israeli Eurovision entries, including the 1978 winner "Abanibi", the 1983 entry "Khay" (Alive), the 1992 song "Ze Rak Sport" (It's Just Sports), the 2004 entry, "Leha'amin" ("To Believe"; which he co-wrote with David D'Or)), and the 2005 entry, "Zman". In addition, he translated Barney songs into Hebrew for the Israeli coproduction "HaChaverim Shel Barney".

2007: An exhibit styled “The Art of Aging” that explores “faith, culture and the search  for meaning in the universal aspects of life’s journey” opens at the Jewish Museum of Florida.

2007: Formal ceremony was held marking the creation of AZIS, an organization of olim from Azerbaijan.  “AZIS is short for Azerbaijan-Israel but is also an Azeri word meaning ‘dear’ or ‘precious.’

2007: Holocaust survivor Manya Friedman speaks about her World War II era experiences at Coe College in Kessler Lecture Hall of Hickok Hall.  Friedman is a volunteer at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., and is an active member of the speakers’ bureau for the organization. Friedman was born in 1925 in a small Polish town that included a Jewish community dating back to the 16th century.  In the mid-1930s, the Friedman family experienced anti-Semitism as it became increasingly apparent in Poland.  In September 1939, Friedman's father was selected for forced labor following the German invasion of Poland.  A month later, her mother was arrested for violating the curfew.  In 1941, Friedman was forced to work for a German company that produced military uniforms.  In March 1943, she was separated from her family and never saw them again, as they were deported to Auschwitz. Friedman was forced to work in labor camps, and, in January 1945, she and other prisoners were transported for 10 days in open freight cars in the bitter cold to the Ravensbruck concentration camp.  Later, Friedman was taken to the Rechlin concentration camp, where she was rescued by the Swedish Red Cross in April 1945, following the liberation of Europe.  In 1950, Friedman emigrated from Sweden to the United Sates, where she continues to speak about her experiences during the Holocaust. This event is sponsored by the Joan and David Thaler Holocaust Memorial Foundation.

2008(7 Nisan, 5768):Nearly 90 minutes after a fire had started, the bodies of the Rabbi Jacob S. Rubenstein, and his wife, Deborah, were found in the burning house.  Rabbi Rubenstein led Young Israel of Scarsdale, an Orthodox synagogue.

2008: In Iowa City, Defunct Books presented a grand night of poetry featuring famous Yiddish poet and playwright Murray Wolfe and Dan Troxell.

2008: In the following article entitled “Holocaust Speaker Urges Audiences to Action” The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported on upcoming Holocaust remembrance activities.

As those who lived through the horrors of the Holocaust continue to age, the importance of getting their stories out becomes increasingly more significant, said Hedy Epstein of St. Louis, Mo., whose parents were taken from one concentration camp to another before being sent to Auschwitz when she was 14. "It is perhaps even more important now because there aren't that many of us who are still alive, and in a few years there won't be any of us left," Epstein, 83, said by phone from her St. Louis home. Epstein will speak to six audiences in Cedar Rapids and Mount Vernon this week, making stops at four area colleges and two high schools. Her visit is funded through the Thaler Holocaust Memorial Fund. Epstein was 8 years old and living with her parents in Kippenheim, Germany, when Adolf Hitler took power in 1933. She watched as the dry-goods business her father and uncle owned was boycotted because it was a Jewish business, and as her father was taken to a concentration camp in November 1938, to be returned a changed man just a few weeks later. A short time later, her parents were both taken to camps and young Hedy Wachenheimer was sent to England on a children's transport. She received a few letters from her parents in the beginning but never heard from them again once they were sent to Auschwitz. When the war was over, Epstein returned to Germany to work for the American government, then came to the United States in 1948."It is important for me that whoever is in the audience hear about the Holocaust," Epstein said. "It is one of so many tragedies that have happened then, before then and today. I want to wake them up to this horrendous event but also to things that are still happening. I want to urge them to take some responsibility to right a wrong, become personally involved in whatever they choose and do something to right a wrong somewhere." <span style='font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; mso-bidi-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-bidi

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