May 5 In History

1109: The Moors recaptured Valencia from the Christians. “During the period of Muslim rule… the Jewish quarter was situated on the eastern side of the Rahbat el-qadi and in its vicinity, on the site where the Santa Catalina church stands at present” (Jewish Virtual Library)

1028:  King Alfonso V of Castile passed away. In 1020, Alfonso had presided over the Council of Leon which adopted laws that created a certain amount of equality between Christians and Jews. The legislation was in response to the threat of Moslem forces that were in control of much of the Iberian Peninsula. Alfonso was the King of Castile when Solomon ibn Gabriol was born in 1021.

1210: Birthdate of King Alfonso III of Portugal whose reign was a period of comparative benevolence for his Jewish subjects. Jews were “exempt from the canonical decrees which compelled the wearing of a distinctive sign and the payment of tithes to the Church.”  Also, Jews were appointed to positions of governmental responsibility.  These policies were continued by his successor, King Diniz who appointed Judah, the Chief Rabbi of Portugal to serve as finance minister.

1260: Kublai Khan becomes ruler of the Mongol Empire. “Arab and European travelers, including Marco Polo in the 13th century, spoke of meeting Jews or hearing about them during their travels in China (then called the Middle Kingdom). Polo recorded that Kublai Khan himself celebrated the festivals of the Muslims, Christians and Jews alike, indicating a large enough number of Jews in the country to warrant attention by its rulers. Historical sources also describe Jewish communities at various trade ports, including Hangzhou, Guangzhou, Ningbo, and Yangzhou. Only the community in Kaifeng survived.

1435: Jewish residents of Speyer, Germany, were expelled.

1588: The Council of Hanover ordered the severance of all business connections between Jews and Christians.

1624: Elias Lipiner was sentenced to death at an auto-de-fe by the Portuguese Inquisition. He was accused of committing the crime of using Jewish names and writing in Hebrew. On this same day Dr. Antonio Honem was sentenced to death for observing Jewish ceremonies.

1646:  King Charles I surrendered to the Presbyterian forces paving the way for the rise to power of Oliver Cromwell.  Cromwell would play a critical role in the return of the Jewish community to the British Isles.

1731(29thof Nisan, 5491): The grandmother of Moses Sofer, Reizchen, a daughter of the Gaon of Frankfurt Rabbi Shmuel Schotten, known as the Marsheishoch passed away.

1764: The "Jews' decree" issued today permitted any Jew to live in Vienna “who could prove that he possessed a certain sum of ready money and "acceptable" papers, or that he had established a factory. According to this decree no Jew could buy a house; a married Jew had to let his beard grow, that he might be readily distinguished; and no synagogue or other place for common worship was permitted.

1767(Iyar 6): Rabbi Isaac Ha-Levi Horowitz of Brody passed away

1777(28thof Nisan, 5537): Forty-three year old Raphael Hayyim Isaac Carregal passed away today at Barbados. Born in Hebron and ordained at 17, Carregal travels eventually took him to the American Colonies just before the start of the American Revolution.  He struck up a friendship with Edgar Stiles, the future President of Yale University.  Stiles benefited from this chance to improve his Hebrew and study scripture with a Rabbi.

1789:  In France, the Estates General convenes for the first time in 150 years.  This is the first act in what would become the French Revolution; a revolution that would result in Jews being granted full citizenship in any European continental political entity.

1809: Right of citizenship was denied to Jews of the canton of Aargau, Switzerland. Emancipation was delayed until 1879.

1809(19thof Iyar, 5669): “Berek Yoselovich, founder and commander of a Jewish light cavalry regiment, was killed in action in the war between the Duchy of Warsaw and Austria

1813: Birthdate of Søren Kierkegaard



1818: Birthdate of Karl Marx, author of the Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital.  Only the ignorant and the anti-Semitic insist that Marx was a Jew.

1821: Napoleon Bonaparte passed away.  There is not enough space in this brief guide to discuss the impact of Napoleon, both pro and con, on the Jewish people.

1837: A dedication of new synagogue in Surinam took place.

1839: In the small town of Unsleben, Bavaria, “a group of 19 emigrants led by Moses Alsbacher departed for America, seeking escape from political unrest and economic and personal discrimination. They chose Cleveland as their final destination because a fellow townsman, Simson Thorman, had two years earlier made this thriving village on Lake Erie the base for his fur trading business. Arriving in late 1839, they found their first homes in the Terminal Tower-Central Market area. A Torah scroll was among the belongings of this group of settlers, and soon after they arrived, they formed the Israelitic Society for worship.”

1859: An article published today entitled “Another Mrtara Case with a More Honorable Termination” tells the story of Alice Levy, a Jewish orphan living in New Orleans.  Before her death, the mother had left instructions that Alice should be “educated in the Jewish faith.” Somehow the child ended up in the custody “of a charitable lady in New Orleans” who was going to raise her as a Catholic.  Alice’s grandmother appealed to the French Consul in New Orleans for help.  After determining that attempts to have the child returned had been thwarted, he interceded on her behalf and the child was tunred over to a Jewish orphanage.

1860: In his lecture on the "Lost Arts," Wendell Phillips states that the earliest mention of precious stones is in the Bible, and that "the Hebrews borrowed the names of their gems from the Egyptians."

1861: In Washington, DC, Colonel Ripley, the Chief of Ordinance received Major Alfred Mordecai’s letter of resignation and a personal letter from Mordecai in which he thanked Colonel Ripley and assured him that he had no need to doubt the Major’s continued loyalty to the nation.

1862: Mexican forces loyal to Juarez defeat the French Army loyal to the Emperor Maximilian. Because of the heavy hand of the Catholic Church only a handful of Jews were living in Mexico at the start of the 19th century.  The Jewish population actually grew during the rule by the Austrian usurper as he “imported many Jews from Belgium, France, Austria and Alsatia.”  In one of those quirks of history the Jewish population actually benefited when Benito Juarez overthrew Maximilian in 1867. Under Juarez, the Church lost much of its authority and Jews found a secularized Mexico a hospitable place to settle.

1864: During the U.S. Civil War, start of the Battle of the Wilderness during Sergeant Leopold Karpleles and Private Abraham Cohen served with such distinction that they each earned the Congressional Medal of Honor.

1864: During the Battle of the Wilderness, Private Louis Leon (CSA) was taken prisoner and shipped to Point Lookout.

1864: Baroness Fannie de Worms and Baron Henry de Worms were married in Vienna. The marriage would end in 1886 in notorious divorce case with the Baron proving she had committed adultery with Moritz von Leon.

1865(9th of Iyar, 5625): French Rabbi Salomon Ulmann passed away. Born at Saverne, Bas-Rhin in 1806 he began his rabbinical studies at Strasburg under Moïse Bloch (better known as Rabbi Mosche Utenheim), and was the first pupil enrolled at the initial competitive examination of candidates for the Ecole Centrale Rabbinique, inaugurated in July, 1830. He was also the first in his class at this institution to receive the diploma of chief rabbi. In 1834 he was appointed rabbi of Lauterbourg, Alsace; in 1844 he became chief rabbi of Nancy, in Lorraine; and in 1853 he succeeded Marchand Ennery as chief rabbi of the Central Consistory of the Israelites of France. Ulmann published a limited number of sermons and pastoral letters, and was the author also of "Catéchisme, ou Eléments d'Instruction Religieuse et Morale à l'Usage des Jeunes Israélites" which is considered a classic.” The most important act in Ulmann's rabbinical career was the organization of the Central Conference of the Chief Rabbis of France, over whose deliberations he presided at Paris in May, 1856. In that year Ulmann addressed a "Pastoral Letter to the Faithful of the Jewish Religion," in which he set forth the result of the deliberations of the conference, which were as follows: (1) revision and abbreviation of the piyyutim; (2) the introduction of a regular system of preaching; (3) the introduction of the organ into synagogues; (4) the organization of religious instruction; (5) the institution of the rite of confirmation for the Jewish youth of both sexes; (6) a resolution for the transfer of the Ecole Centrale Rabbinique from Metz to Paris.

1878: An article published today entitled “Murder of an American Lady” described how the sister of the American Vice Consul in Bucharest, Dr. Stern, was stabbed by a suitor her family had rejected three years earlier. The young woman was 20 years old and had only been married for four months.

1878: An article published today entitled “A Mean Thief Punished” described how “Philip Leon, a well-dressed Hebrew” was tried and found guilty of having stolen a pawn ticket and a dollar from Julia McLoughlin.  Leon was sentenced to pay a fine of $50 and to serve a sentence of one month in the New York’s city jail.

1879:  According to the Rochester Express, J.B. Hoyt and J.B. Trevor are donating the funds to endow Chair of Hebrew Language and Literature at the Rochester Theological Seminary.

1881: Anti-Jewish riots broke out in Kiev, Russia. The Russian pogroms of 1881 led to the spread of Zionist ideas in Eastern Europe and the formation, in 1882, of Hovevei Zion, the first organized modern Zionist movement in the world.

1881:Following the assassination a month earlier of Tzar Alexander II of Russia, and the subsequent rumors that the Jews were behind the assassination, anti-Jewish riots broke out today. The riots and pogroms lasted for four years, during which time thousands of Jewish homes and synagogues were destroyed, and countless Jews were injured and impoverished. The unrest started out in Southern Russia, and quickly spread throughout the entire country. Tzar Alexander III actually blamed the riots on the Jews(!) and punished them by enacting new laws which further restricted their freedoms. Among these devastating laws were legislation which restricted Jews from residing in towns with fewer than 10,000 citizens, and limiting their professional employment and education opportunities. These oppressive laws, known as the "May Laws," compelled many Jews to emigrate. They are said to have caused more than two million Jews to leave Russia, many of them opting

1887: In the United Kingdom, several Brethren who were also Secret Monitors met at the home of Dr. Issachar Zacaharie where it was resolved to from the Alfred Meadows Conclave with Dr. Zacharie as its first Supreme Ruler. Secret Monitors refers to The Order of the Secret Monitor and Brethren refers to Freemasons. Zacharie was born in Kent (England) in 1827.  As a small boy he moved to the United States where he became a foot doctor describes variously as an orthopedist or a chiropodist. During the Civil War he became President Lincoln’s foot doctor.  Their relationship transcended that which normally existed between doctor and patient.  Lincoln used him as an unofficial advisor and source of information. At one point he went to New Orleans to assess the situation there for the President .  ‘Due in part to Zacharie's influence, Lincoln became an early proponent of establishing a Jewish state in the Holy Land. ‘I myself have regard for the Jews,’ the president is reported to have once said. ‘My chiropodist is a Jew, and he has so many times 'put me on my feet' that I would have no objection to giving his countrymen 'a leg up.' "  Zacharie returned to England “from America in 1875 and built up a thriving orthopedic practice in Brook Street, London. He became a member of a Bon Accord Mark Lodge in 1882 where he met other Brethren who were also Secret Monitors, having received their degree in various places. These Brethren were also members of Alfred Meadows Lodge named after a distinguished surgeon.”

1891: “Jewish Prisoners” published today described the work of Rabbi Adolph M. Radin with Jewish prisoners in New York jails and prisons.  New York City’s association of rabbis had designated him as “the visiting Chaplain” to fill this need.

1892: William Ambrose Shedd, a Persian received the George S. Green Fellowship in Hebrew at Princeton University. The theology student’s efforts gained him $600. Ivy League schools had an interest in the language of the Jews but no desire to have them on their campuses.

1892: Emanuel Lehman, the Treasurer of Transportation Fund for the Relief of Russian (Jewish) Refugees acknowledged the following contributions: Sigmund Robertson - $2,000; Lazarus Levy - $100; Seligman Solomon Society - $25; Mrs. G.M. Raphael - $10. This brings the total contributions to $97, 545.49.

1892: The Hebrew Orphan Asylum Band will supply the music this afternoon at the Actors’ Fund Fair in Madison Square Garden.

1893: “More Affidavits By Jews” published today described the aggressive attempts by some Christian denominations to convert Jews.

1895: Police will begin an investigation into a tale told by Bernard Zuckerman, a self-confessed thief, that he had been led into his life of crime by an unnamed Polish Jewish woman.  She came to the United States about four years ago, and behaving like a female Fagan, teaches young Jewish Polish boys how to steal and then disposes of their goods.

1895: “Art Notes” published today described the paintings with a Jewish Biblical theme that John S. Sargent has done to decorate the New Public Library in Boston. The wall space over the door depicts the delivery of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. Below this “are a series of panels” that depict the “growth of the Hebrew religion”  “In the center, immediately over the door, is a colored bas-relief of Moses.”

1895: Robert College in Constantinople which was created with an endowment by Christopher R. Robert of New York currently provides a western style education to a multi-ethnic student body of  200, five of whom are Jews.

1889: Rabbi Henry S. Jacobs is scheduled to deliver an address to the adult members of B’nai Jeshurun on the significant role of George Washington as part of the events celebrating the centennial of his first inauguration which took place in New York City on April 30, 1789.

1899:  Birthdate of Jacob “Gurrah” Shapiro, a partner of Louis “Lepke” Buchalter who helped establish Murder Incorporated.

1900: David Wolffsohn offers to resign his position with the Colonial Bank, also known as the Jewish Colonial Trust.  The Bank was established to buy land for the Jewish people in Eretz Israel.

1900: Birthdate of Nacha Rivkin, the founder of Shulamith School for Girls, the first girl's yeshiva in the U.S.

1901: President Percival S. Menken presided over the annual meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.  Attendees listened to the group’s 27th annual report, elected a board of directors and listened to a brief speech by the organization’s major benefactor, Jacob Schiff.

1901: President Simon Borg presided over the annual meeting of the Home for Aged and Infirmed Hebrews.  Based on the report of the Finance Committee, the Home’s financial condition was quite solid.  Jacob Schiff, President of the Montefiore Home for Chronicle Invalids addressed the group, congratulating the group for the quality of management at the Home.

1910: Birthdate of Josef Karlenboim who made Aliyah in 1930 and gained fame as Yosef Almogi, Israeli military, labor and political leaders.

1910: Birthdate of Leo Lionni who along with David Wiesner was one of the two most “influential children’s book illustrators of the twentieth century.” The Amsterdam native’s father was a Sephardic Jewish who worked in the diamond business.  His mother was a Christian.

1911: Birthdate of “Andor Lilienthal, the last of the original 27 chess grandmasters, who played 10 world champions and beat 6 of them…”

1915: Birthdate of Emanuel Litvinoff, an English-born Jewish poet known for his scathing verse indictment of T. S. Eliot’s anti-Semitism — and for reading it before an audience that happened to include Eliot. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

1919: Birthdate of Samuel Abraham Goldblith , “an American food scientist”  who studied malnutrition during World War II “and later was involved in food research important for space exploration.”  He died in 2001.

1920: Birthdate of Charles Hirsch Schneer, a native of Norfolk, Virginia who gained fame as a film producer most widely known for working with special effects pioneer, Ray Harryhausen. (As reported by Margalit Fox)

1921: Birthdate of Poet and liturgist Ruth Brin

1921:  Birthdate of Arthur Leonard Schawlow winner of the 1981 Nobel Prize for Physics.

1921 (27th of Nisan, 5681):  Alfred Hermann Fried passed away.  Born in Austria in 1864, Fried was leading pacifist, author and co-founder of the German peace movement.  In 1911, he was one of the recipients of the Nobel Prize for Peace.

1921: Demobilized Jewish soldiers under the command of a Jewish officer were assigned to patrol duty in Tel Aviv as part of today’s efforts by General Deeds and Judge Norman Bentwich to restore order in Palestine.  Arabs, including Arab policemen, began rioting on May 1.  So far 27 Jews have been killed during the violence and another 150 have been wounded.

1926: Funeral rites are held at Temple Beth-El for businessman, philanthropist and diplomat Oscar Straus.

1927: In Manhattan, Anita Gerber and Irwin Rosen gave birth to Charles Welles Rosen “the pianist, polymath and author whose National Book Award-winning volume “The Classical Style” illuminated the enduring language of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven” (As reported by Margalit Fox)

1933: In Budapest, Donald and Ilona Sass gave birth to Evelyn Erika Sass who as Evelyn Handler gained gamed as a cell biologist and the first women to serve as President of Brandeis University. (As reported by Paul Vitello)

1938: The Palestine Post reported that a Jewish farmer, Haim Sober, 40, was attacked by Arabs while on his way home to Karkur and beaten with sticks to death.

1938: The Palestine Post reported that an Arab watchmen employed by the Iraqi Petroleum Company was shot and killed in a Tiberias cafe, apparently because he was to serve as a witness in the court case against the Izza ed Din el Kassam Arab terrorist gang which murdered a Jew at Nahalal.

1939: Sara Kucikowicz, the author of “The Cruel Winter” gave her tutor Shlomo Achituv “a photograph of herself, and on the back inscribed the following: “Shlomka, so you’ll remember me. Sara.” The portrait was made at the M. Glouberman photo studio at 12 Pilsudskiego St.” (As reported by JTA)

1939: The Nuremberg anti-Jewish laws went into effect in Hungary

1939: Under newly enacted legislation first presented by ex-Prime Minister Bella Imredy two thirds of Hungary's Jews were denaturalized because they became citizens after 1914. Jews had to leave all government-related positions before the end of the year.

1941: Emperor Haile Selassie returns to Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia after a five year exile brought about the Italian conquest of his kingdom.  This marked one of the early victories of the Allies over the fascists and thus was a turning point in World War II. The Emperor had spent part of his exile in Palestine where he was greeted warmly by the Jewish population

1942 (18th of Iyar, 5702): Lag B’Omer

1942 (18th of Iyar, 5702): Jewish teachers and educators in the Warsaw Ghetto created a special day for children, during which they were treated to games, plays, and special rations of sweets.

1942 (18th of Iyar, 5702): Prof. Jakob Edmund Speyer, a Jew from Frankfurt, Germany, who invented an important painkiller called Eukodal, died of exhaustion in the ghetto at Lodz, Poland

1943: Himmler visited the Zagreb, Yugoslavia.. Soon thereafter 1,400 Jews were deported

1944: Jacob Shapiro was sentenced to serve a sentence of 15 years to life after having been convicted of conspiracy and extortion.  He only served three years of the sentence since he died of a heart attack while in prison in 1947.

1945: The presiding bishop of the German-Catholic bishops' conference instructs his priests to say a mass in Hitler's memory

1945:  After the commander of the bunker at Ebensee (prison) murdered all prisoners who had worked at the crematorium and the bunker, prisoners transported from Mauthausen, Austria, and Warsaw revolted at the labor camp at Ebensee, Austria. When they were ordered into a tunnel packed with explosives, they refused to budge, confusing the SS and Volksdeutscheguards, all of whom were mindful of the advancing Allies and the likelihood of war-crimes trials. The prisoners' defiance was successful and they were left unharmed. In the face of this defiance and out of fear for what might happen when the Allies arrive the Germans fled. As U.S. troops entered the camp, a brutal German Kapo (foreman) pleaded with inmates not to turn him over to the Americans as a war criminal. He was attacked by three Jewish boys and killed. Other Germans at Ebensee met similar fates.

1945: At 11:30 a.m. two American armored vehicles approached the camp gate Mauthansan and were admitted by the prisoners. The troops were from the U.S. 11th Armored Division the force that had liberated the concentration camp at Mauthausen, Austria. 110,000 survivors were found, including 28,000 Jews. Bodies of 10,000 inmates were discovered in a mass grave. In the days following liberation, more than 3000 inmates will die. The Americans did not have enough supplies to offer a fraction of these numbers. Foods such as candy, chocolate, milk and jams were too rich for the starving who still died as a result of malnutrition. One survivor, Sidney Fahn, weighed 80 pounds.

1945: Hollywood producer George Stevens who was working for the United States Army, filmed the first Jewish service at Dachau which was conducted Rabbi David Max Eichhorn, who was a chaplain with the United States Army.

1945:Private Hershel Wright of the US Army gave oranges to starving survivors of the Wöbbelin concentration camp which had been liberated by the GI’s on May 2nd.


1945: The camp at Gusen, Austria, near Mauthausen, is liberated by the U.S. Army; 2000 inmates remain alive.

1945: The U.S. 71st Infantry Division liberates the camp at Gunskirchen, Austria, where 18,000 inmates remain alive. Hungarian author and journalist Geza Havas, force-marched to the camp from Mauthausen, died a few hours before the Americans arrive.

1946: Birthdate of Chicago radio personality Eddie Schwartz.

1947: Members of Kibbutz Yakum (He Shall Rise) met to consider a name change.  They decided to keep the name

1952: The Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Herman Wouk for the Caine Mutiny. Herman Wouk was born in New York City in 1915 into a Jewish family that had emigrated from Russia, and received an A.B. from Columbia University. During World War II, then joined the United States Navy and served in the Pacific Theater.  This experience would provide the background material for The Caine Mutiny.  If you ever see the film version of the book, there is a scene at the end where the officers of the U.S.S. Caine are celebrating during which one of the characters gives a speech that show real villain of the piece was an author who spent his time on the ship writing the great American War novel while it is a Jewish lawyer who champions the cause of the unsuspecting dupe who is being court-martialed  From a Jewish perspective, two of his most important works were This is My God: The Jewish Way of Life published in 1959 and The Will to Live on: The Resurgence of Jewish Heritage published in 2000.  According to at least one source Wouk decided that he would be an Observant Jew when he joined the Navy.  Reportedly, while he was in the service, Wouk donned tefillin daily before he davened on a daily basis.  The crew members thought that Mr. Wouk’s little black boxes gave them the edge during enemy attacks.  After the war, Wouk was something of an anomaly among Jewish intellectuals – a successful Jewish author who did not turn his back on being Jewish.

1952: Aba Houshy, Mayor of Haifa, leaves Israel to fly to New York City to makes speeches as part of the annual Israel Bond Drive.

1953: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Treasury expressed satisfaction at the public response to the compulsory property loan which could be converted into a tax. Out of 10,500 property owners, 7,700 choose to pay the tax.

1954: Birthdate of David Azulai, the native of Morocco who made Aliyah in 1963 and developed a career in Israeli politics that climax with service as an MK. Azulai is an “alumnus” Zion Blumenthal Orphanage which founded near the Bukharim Quarter in 1900 by Rabbi Yochanan Blumenthal

1954: Birthdate of Dave Spector.  The Chicago native is one of the more visible foreign personalities (gaijin tarento) in Japan.

1957: “He’s the Dean of Southern Rabbi’s “ by William Hammack published in today’s Atlanta Constitution recounts the life of Rabbi Tobia Geffen, “the Coca Cola Rabbi.” "He's the Dean of Southern Rabbis

1958: Birthdate of “Lieutenant Colonel Ron Arad…an IAF fighter pilot and an Israeli Air Force weapon systems officer (WSO) who is officially classified as missing in action since October 1986, but widely presumed dead. Hezbollah claimed that Arad died during an escape attempt in May 1988. An Israeli secret military commission report claimed that Arad died of illness in 1995, and was buried in the Beqaa Valley.”

1959(27th of Nisan, 5719): Yom HaShoah

1969: Pulitzer Prize awarded to Norman Mailer for Armies of the Night, a recollection of his own experiences at the Washington peace rallies of 1968, during which he was jailed.

1975: In “Responsa: The Law as Seen by Rabbis for 1,000 years” Israel Shenker describes the role of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein whom he describes as “a court of last resort” for Orthodox Jews.


1978: The Jerusalem Post reported that the Foreign Minister, Moshe Dayan said that Israeli Defense Forces must remain permanently in Judea and Samaria; Israelis should reserve the right to buy land and to settle in these territories, and should reserve the right of an unrestricted movement in the whole area.

1985: Following a visit to the former Nazi concentration camp at Belsen, President Ronald Regan visits the Bitburg cemetery which contains the graves of 49 SS soldiers.  The visit had touch off a storm of controversy and protest.

1985: An additional 2,000-foot section of the ramparts of the Old City of Jerusalem gained modern lighting. The segment may now be walked at night, in a leisurely half-hour, starting at the Zion Gate and ending at the Citadel of David. There, a small amphitheater has been constructed for a sound-and-light display.

1991(21st of Iyar, 5751): Yuval Glick and Moshe Leshem were killed when their F-4 Phantom Jet crashed into Lake Tiberius.

1991(21st of Iyar, 5751): Eighty-seven year old Chaim Gross an Austrian born American sculptor passed away. (As reported by John T. McQuiston)


1994(24th of Iyar, 5754): Dutch architect Hein Salomonson architect passes away at the age of 83.

1995(5th of Iyar, 5755): Mikhail Moiseyevich Botvinnik passed away.  Born in 1911, this Russian Jew was an International Chess Grandmaster and a long time World Champion.

1999:The National Science Board (NSB) has named Maxine Frank Singer, Ph.D., president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C. to receive the 1999 Vannevar Bush Award for lifetime contributions to science and engineering. Singer will receive the Bush Award on May 5 in Washington, D.C. at a National Science Board awards ceremony.

2000: The Times of London features a review of Righteous Victims: A history of the Zionist-Arab conflict, 1881-1999by Benny Morris and The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab world since 1948by Avi Shlaim.

2002: The New York Times featured books by Jewish writers and/or of special interest to Jewish readers including The Collected Stories of Joseph Roth: Funerals for the Old World and the recently released paperback edition of Paradise Park by Allegra Goodman.

2005: British Laborite Barbara Maureen Roche lost her seat as a Member of Parliament for Hornsey and Wood Green

2005: David Wright Miliband, the son of Jewish immigrants, is named Minister of State for Communities and Local Government by Prime Minister Tony Blair.

2006: David Wright Miliband, the son of Jewish immigrants, named Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs by Prime Minister Tony Blair.

2006: The New-York Historical Society named Doris Kearns Goodwin its American history laureate and  presented her with its inaugural $50,000 Book Prize for American history for Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln a biography of the 16th president and his cabinet.

2006:  In Cedar Rapids, Temple Judah celebrates the Confirmation of Vanessa Levi, daughter of Elizabeth and Shlomo Levi and Daniel DeClue, son of Carolyn and Rick DeClue.  These two bright, intelligent youngsters are living proof of the resiliency of the Jewish spirit in communities both large and small.  But more important than their intellectual accomplishments is the fact that these two are decent, caring human beings. It is fitting that their ceremony falls on the Shabbat when the Torah portion is Kedoshim since it reminds us that in the world of Jewish values “nice guys finish first.”

2007: “The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson: Constructing a Legend” opened at the Jewish Museum in New York City.

2007: As part of Jewish Heritage Month, The National Archives in Washington, D.C. presented a screening of An American Tail. The film is the story of the Mousekewitz family’s journey to America and of their young son, Fievel, who gets lost along the way. Landing in a bottle, Fievel washes ashore in New York Harbor where, determined to find his family, he comes face to face with the perils and opportunities of the New World. The film features the voices of Dom DeLuise, Christopher Plummer, and Madeline Kahn and is directed by Don Bluth.

2007: Running of the Kentucky Derby.  While it's not a well known part of our Western mythology, the Jewish Hart brothers of Kentucky formed the Transylvania Company, bartering ten thousand pounds of merchandise with the Cherokee nation, in exchange for 20 million acres of land in Kentucky, according to Howard M. Sachar's "A History of the Jews in America." Yes, the Jews did give America most of Kentucky, with the help of their hired explorers Daniel Boone and his adopted Jewish son, Samuel Sanders. Another oddity is that in 1936 the Kentucky Derby was, in effect, a Jewish "sweep." Bold Venture was the winner, owned by Morton Schwartz, trained by Max Hirsch and ridden by Ira Hanford. All the human beings involved in this horse racing victory were Jews. Sometimes we suspect that Bold Venture was Jewish that day, too

2008(30th of Nisan, 5768): Rosh Chodesh Iyar

2008(30th of Nisan, 5768): Irv Robbins, the co-founder of Baskin-Robbins, passed away. Robbins reportedly cashed in a $6,000 insurance policy given him for his bar Mitzvah in 1945 to start his first ice cream store.


2008: The 92nd Street Y presents “Growing Up Jewish in Baghdad” in which acclaimed novelist, essayist and critic Naim Kattan shares his personal history of growing up Jewish in Baghdad in the 1940s. Kattan draws a portrait of a cosmopolitan place where the Jewish community had flourished for more than 2,500 years, alongside Christians and Muslims—a sharp contrast to the present-day city whose uncertain future is now intricately tied to our own.

2008: Time magazine published excerpts from the diary of Rutka Laskier in article entitled “Poland’s Anne Frank.” Rutka Laskier lived in Bedzin, Poland, with her parents, grandmother and brother. Her journal, covering four months in 1943, provides a rare glimpse of the daily life of

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