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March 21

456 BCE: The convocation summoned by Ezra on intermarriage came to an end

629: Byzantine Emperor Heraclius marched into Jerusalem at the head of his army with the support of Jewish inhabitants. The Jews who had previously fought with the Persians against Byzantine rule decided to support him in return for a promise of amnesty. Upon his entry into Jerusalem the local priests convinced him that killing Jews was a positive commandment and that his promise was therefore invalid. Hundreds of Jews were massacred and thousands of others fled to Egypt. Thus, much of the rich Jewish life in the Galilee and Judea came to an end.

1349(1stof Nisan): Three thousand Jews were killed in Black Death riots in Efurt Germany.

This was one of only a series of wholesale murders of Jews that took place in Germany in 1349. The Jews provided a convenient scapegoat for the Black Death. In some places they were accused of poisoning the wells which supposedly caused the plague. Since The Black Death provided an interesting excuse of murdering Jews, the following few summary will prove useful when we get to it our study of Jewish History during the Middle Ages. "A Genoese trading post in the Crimea was besieged by an army of Kipchaks from Hungary and Mongols from the East. The latter brought with them a new form of plague. Infected dead bodies were catapulted into the Genoese town. One Genoese ship managed to escape and brought the disease to Messina, in Sicily. From this time forth the disease became an epidemic. It moved over the next few years to northern Italy, North Africa, France, Spain, Austria, Hungary, Switzerland, Germany, the Low Countries, England, Scandinavia and the Baltic. There were lesser outbreaks in many cities for the next twenty years. An estimated 25 million died in Europe and economic depression followed."


                                                      or there is this version


1349: After a mob marched into the Jewish quarter in Erfurt, Germany, carrying a flag with a cross the Jews tried to defend themselves without success resulting in the murder of one hundred Jews including Talmudic sage Alexander Suslin HaKohen and the burning of most of the ghetto.

1475: Simon of Trent disappeared from Trento, Italy. The disappearance led to a blood libel that led to 8 Jews being hung by local authorities for their part in a plot use the blood of this Christian child in the making of Matzah.

1497: On the evening of the Seder, all Jewish children in Portugal between the ages of four and fourteen were actually baptized.

1548: The Vatican found a house used to convert Jews to Catholicism which the Jews were compelled to support with their taxes.

1694: “According to the reported of Jesuit John Edler Simon Abeles was killed today by his father Lazarus Abeles, because he persisted in his desire to embrace the Christian religion. The father, who was thrown into prison, strangled himself with his tefillin.  Söbl, or Levy Kurtzhandl, was imprisoned as an alleged accomplice, and put to death with horrible tortures. The body of Simon was buried in the Teyn Church of Prague with great pomp and with the honors due a martyr. The report of the Jesuit is naturally one-sided, full of miracles and many improbabilities. An impartial investigation of the sources is still lacking.

1697(28th of Adar, 5457): Amsterdam Rabbi Abraham Cohen Pimentel passed away. A student of Saul Levi Morteira, he served as hakham of the synagogue in Hamburg and was initially a signator to a letter of approbation for Sabbatai Zevi. He was the author of the “Minchat Kohen,” published in 1668.

1758: The councilor of the Holy Office, Lorenzo Ganganelli , the future Pope Clement XIV, who had been charged with investigating the blood libel against the Jews of Yanopol, Poland, presented "Non solis accusatoribus credendum," to the congregation of the Inquisition  which showed that not only were these charges groundless but demonstrated that “all the principal cases of blood accusation since the 13thcentury were groundless.

1759: A letter was received in New York at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue from Newport, Rhode Island. It was a request from the congregation at Newport asking for funds to help build a synagogue. New York sent financial assistance, and on May 28 the congregation at Newport sent a letter of thanks, signed by 10 of its members, back to New York.

1776: The President of Congress, John Hancock, arranged to send George Washington $250,000 cash to be used to maintain the siege of Boston. Hancock wrote in the letter that accompanied the funds sent that he had selected three "gentlemen of character whom I am confident will meet your notice." One of these men was the Jewish patriot, Moses Franks of Philadelphia.

1791: In Inowraclaw, Prussia, Rabbi Levin Isaac Auerbach and his wife gave birth to Isaac Levin Auerbach a supporter of making reforms in Judaism who served as the “preacher at the Jacobsen Temple where sermons were delivered in German, teaching at the Jewish girl’s school in Berlin and finally officiating at the temple in Leipzig for more than 25 years.”

1799(14th of Adar II, 5559): As the British, French and Turks fight it out for control of Egypt and Eretz Israel and Syria, the Jews celebrate Purim

1803: Jacob Hays who “was born in May, 1772 in a Jewish home in Bedford, NY and whose father was a soldier in Washington’s Army” and began his career as law enforcement as a New York Marshall in 1798 was appointed today as a “Captain of the Third Watch District” in New York’s “fledgling police force.”

1807(11th of Adar II, 5567): Shabbat Zachor

1807(11th of Adar II, 5567): Chaim Joseph David ben Isaac Zerachia Azulai passed away. Born in 1724, he was “known as the Chida (by the acronym of his name, חיד"א) and was a rabbinical scholar and a noted bibliophile, who pioneered the history of Jewish religious writings.”

1809: Ralph Harris married Rachel Shannon at the Great Synagogue today.

1811: Birthdate of East Prussian novelist Fanny Lewald who converted to Christianity at the age of 17.

1822: In Venjle, Joseph Joel Ballin and Hanne Behrend, born Peiser gave birth to Danish engraver Joel Ballin.

1827: Birthdate of Anglo-Jewish communal worker Manuel Castello.

1831(19th of Adar II): Chaim ben Naphtali Coslin, author of Maslul, passed away

1837(14thof Adar II, 5597): Purim

1837: Birthdate of Gustave-Hippolyte Worms, the Parisian born actor who made his debut as Achille in “Duc Job” in 1850. He retired from the stage in 1901.

1841: Aaron Lazarus married Maria Myers today at the Great Synagogue.

1841: John Fileman married Mary Levy today at the New Synagogue.

1844: The Bahá'í calendar begins. This is the first day of the first year of the Bahá'í calendar. “The Bahá'í Faith has its administrative centre in Haifa on land it has owned since Bahá'u'lláh's imprisonment in Acre in the early 1870s by the Ottoman Empire. Pilgrims from all over the world visit for short periods of time. Apart from the circa six hundred volunteer staff, Bahá'ís do not live or preach in Israel”

1847: “The Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel,” the largest congregation in Philadelphia, was organized” today. “Its first rabbi was B. H. Gotthelf, who held services in a hall at No. 528 N. Second Street.”

1848: The ghetto pillars of Ferrara were destroyed by the professors and students of the Athenaeum.

1850: Birthdate of Gittel “Catherine” Helvich Shubert, the German born American wife of David Shubert with whom she had six children.

1860: Birthdate of Sigmund Freud’s sister Regina Debora

1861: A Jew by the name of Guranda who is the Editor of the Ost Deutsche Post was among those whom the city of Vienna has chosen to serve in the Provincial Diet.

1864(13th of Adar II, 5624): Fast of Esther

1864: In Baltimore, MD, George Hexter and Amanda Kann gave birth to Victor Henry Hexter, the graduate of University of Virginia and husband of Minnie May Wertheimer who began practicing law in Dallas in 1887 and has served on the Dallas Board of Education for six years.

1867(14thof Adar II, 5627): Purim

1869: Birthdate of Florenz Ziegfeld. Ziegfeld was born in Chicago. His father was a successful doctor and patron of the arts. He encouraged Ziegfeld's flair for showmanship. Eventually, young Florenz moved to New York where he gained fame for lavish productions "celebrating" the physical aspects of the American female. The Ziegfeld Follies launched the careers of many showgirls and comedians including Will Rogers and Eddie Cantor. Ziegeld was one of the first in a long line of Jews who were connected with the musical theatre. Ziegfeld married the famed Billie Burke and later moved to Hollywood. He passed away in 1932.

1869: In Rhaunen, Prussia, Rabbi Joseph Kahn and his wife Rosalie gave birth to Albert Kahn, one of the foremost industrial architect of his times who created several of the signature buildings in Detroit, Michigan, including the General Motors Building, the Detroit News Building, the Willow Run Bomber building, the foremost production site of B-24 bombers during WW II and Temple Emanuel.


1870(18th of Adar II, 5630: Chanokh Heynekh HaKohen Levin of Aleksander passed away. Born in 1798, “he served as the rebbe of a community of thousands of Hasidim during the "interregnum" between the Chidushei HaRim of Ger and the Sfas Emes. Heynekh was one of the leading students of the Rebbe Reb Simcha Bunim of Pshischa. After the latter's death he became one of the most prominent followers of Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Kotzk and the senior disciple of Chidushei hoRim. Following the death of the Chidushei hoRim in 1866, the bulk of his numerous chasidim chose Rabbi Chanokh Heynekh as the next rebbe. Chanokh Heynekh served as the Rabbi in the Jewish communities of Aleksander from 1837 (or earlier) till 1853, Nowy Dwór from 1853 to 1859 and Przasnysz from 1859 to 1864 (or 1866). After his tenure In Przasnysz he retired from the rabbinate and settled in Aleksander[7], where he lived during his period of leadership as rebbe. His teachings are collected in Chashovoh leToivo (first published in 1929[, and are quoted widely. While few may know his name today, his successor was the renowned Yehudah Aryeh Leib which means he must have been quite a personage in his own right.

1871: Otto von Bismarck is appointed Chancellor of the German Empire. In the 1840’s, when Bismarck began his political career he held the views of a reactionary Junker “who could not accept Jews serving in the name of his ‘holy majesty’” and who opposed legislation offering Jews full emancipation. By 1869, Bismarck was the leader of a government that passed an emancipation law stating, “All still existing limitations of the…civil rights which are rooted in differences of relgious faith are hereby annulled.” Bismarck explained the change in views by stating, “Man grows with his goals.” In Bismarck’s case the goal was elimination of Austria as Prussia’s rival for leadership of a modern unified Germany. Bismarck turned to his personal banker, a Jews named Gerson Bleichroeder, to supply the financing for the war which drove Austria from the German equation and allowed him to modernize the German Army. Bismarck realized that Jewish support was necessary for his nationalistic goals. But in working with Jews, he came to see them as human beings, and as human begins capable of making a major contribution to the new Germany. All of these elements helped to make the new chancellor a more enlightened leader when it came to matters concerning the Jews. Evidence of this new enlightenment would be seen in 1878 when he took the side of the Jews at the Congress of Berlin when dealing with Czar Alexander II over the question of the horrible treatment of the Jews of Romania.

1872: It was reported today that the Jews of Cahul in Romania have endured three days of attacks by the local citizens. There are 1,000 Jews living in this town of 7,000. Two of the synagogues have been desecrated and property losses are valued are 49,000 ducats

1872(11th of Adar II, 5632): Fast of Esther observed because the 13th of Adar II falls on Shabbat

1872(11th of Adar II, 5632): Russian Talmudist Samuel ben Joseph Strashun, also known as Rashash (רש"ש) passed away today in Vilna. As we shall see, he embodied the concept of not making a profit from the crown of the Torah. Born in 1794, he was educated by his father, married at an early age, and settled with his wife's parents in the village of Streszyn, commonly called Strashun (near Wilna), where he assumed his last name. The distillery owned by his father-in-law was wrecked by the invading French army in 1812, and the family removed to Wilna, where Samuel established another distillery and became one of the most prominent members of the community. His wife conducted the business, as was usual in Wilna, and he devoted the greater part of his time to studying the Talmud and to teaching, gratuitously, the disciples who gathered about him. The Talmud lectures which for many years he delivered daily at the synagogue on Poplaves street were well attended, and from the discussions held there resulted his annotations, which are now incorporated in every recent edition of the Babylonian Talmud (Hagahot v'Chiddushei HaRashash). His fame as a rabbinical scholar spread throughout Russia, and he conducted a correspondence with several well-known rabbis. Strashun was offered the rabbinate of Suwałki, but he refused it, preferring to retain his independence. His piety did not prevent him from sympathizing with the progressive element in Russian Jewry, and he was one of the few Orthodox leaders who accepted in good faith the decree of the government that only graduates of the rabbinical schools of Wilna and Jitomir should be elected as rabbis. He wrote good modern Hebrew, spoke the Polish language fluently, was conspicuously kind and benevolent, and was highly esteemed even among the Christian inhabitants of Wilna. Besides the above-mentioned annotations, he wrote others to the Midrash Rabbot, which first appeared in the Wilna editions of 1843-45 and 1855. Some of his novellæ, emendations, etc., were incorporated in the works of other authorities.

1875: The Anshe Bikur Cholim Society hosted a Purim Ball tonight at Irving Hall in New York City.

1875: Over 200 contributors signed the “Silver Book of Life” at this evening’s Purim reception at the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews in New York City.

1877(7thof Nisan, 5637): Fifty-eight year old Moritz Kohner who in 1869 founded the Deutsch-Israelitische Gemeindebundpassed away today in Leipzig.

1879: A Jewish peddler from New York was beaten and robbed by 3 men while walking along the railroad tracks between Norton and Stamford, Conn.

1880(9th of Nisan, 5640): Just six days short of his 60th birthday, Indian businessman Elias David Sasson passed away in Ceylon.

1882: Birthdate of Friederike Massarik, the native of Vienna who gained fame opera singer Fritzi Massary.


1882: Birthdate of Max Aronson, the Little Rock AR native who gained fame as Gilbert M. Anderson

 an early silent screen actor, appearing as Bronco Billy in that famed 1903 hit, “The Great Train Robbery. “Anderson also was a promoter of the new industry and was one of the first to move his operation to California where he made at least one film featuring the famous Ben Turpin.

1883(12th of Adar II, 5643): Sir George Jessel, the son of a Jewish coral merchant who became on the U.K.’s most influential jurists passed away.

1886(14thof Adar II, 5646): Purim

1887: Birthdate of Erich Mendelsohn “a German Jewish architect, known for his expressionist architecture in the 1920s, as well as for developing a dynamic functionalism in his projects for department stores and cinemas.”

1888(9thof Nisan, 5648): Zebi Hirsch Ornstein the son of Mordecai Zeeb Ornstein, and grandson of Jacob Meshullam Ornstein, who served as the rabbi at Rzeszow and Lemberg, passed away today.

1890: A law was issued today which defines Austrian Jewish communities and “regulated the conditions of Jewish congregations.”

1890: In Sokolow, Austria, Henry Pomeranz and Anna Kivowitz gave birth to Max Pomeranz the Brooklyn dentist who came to the United States in 1900 and is the grandfather of singer/songwriter David Pomeranz.

1890: Based on information that first appeared in the London Daily News “Sobriety Among Jews” which was published today espouses the theory that the Jews have survived despite having been oppressed “by cruel laws” and forced to live “in abodes where others must have died” because “they lead, as a rule, simple lives and are mindful of the expressive maxim in Proverbs, ‘wine is a mocker.’” In other words, while Jews do not refrain from drinking, they drink in moderation and condemn intemperance.

1891: “The members of the Baron de Hirsch Club opened their clubhouse at 208 East Broadway” in New York City today.

1893: Hermann Ahlwardt delivered “a rabidly anti-Semitic speech” in the Reichstag in which “he declared that he had eleven documents which showed that while Prince Bismarck was Chancellor, fraudulent contracts had been made repeatedly with Jewish financers…”

1893: “For Jewish Working Girls” published today provided the efforts of the Jewish Working Girls’ Vacation Society to provide a summer time respite by renting a house in the country where they can spend a few restful days at no charge.  The environment will be moral and all dietary laws will be observed. The society, led by Mrs. A.L. Freudenthal rented a house in Westchester County last year and provided two week vacations for 125 young women.

1894: It was reported today that the Don Quixote Club will host a fundraiser for the United Hebrew Charities at the Manhattan Athletic Club.

1894: It was reported today that the industrial school in New York is only one of the institutions supported by the Bikur Cholim which is currently under the leadership of Mrs. Emma L. Toplitz.

1895: Birthdate of Jack Arons, the native of Balia, Roumania who was a “member of the first group of” members of the Jewish Legon” from Toronto who “served as an instructor in the 40th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers” who, after WW I, “returned to Toronto and enter the catering business.” (As reported by Leon Cheifitz who as an 18 year old living in Montreal, joined the Legion.)

1895: “Contest of the Grunhut Will” published today described the attempts by Louis Grunhut and Mrs. Mary Ballowa, the son and daughter of the late Dr. Bernhard Grunhut, who are trying to break the will of the descendant.  They are contending that the Doctor had not married Eva L. Jacobs who claims to be his widow and that the couple had not had a baby which died after only 15 deaths. As matters stand now she will inherit his entire estate less $50,000 that has been left to Mount Sinai Hospital and the Hebrew Benevolent Society.

1896: For the first time Shaaray Tefila will use the Union Prayer Book which was recently adopted by the Union of American Congregations.

1896: The celebration Shaaray Tefila’s Jubilee will continue this morning with an address delivered after Shabbat morning services by “Henry Morrison, a veteran lawyer who as a youth delivered an address at the dedication of the first synagogue..

1896: “Inquisition and the Jews” published today summarized the views expressed by Dr. M. H. Harris. In speaking of the long-term consequences suffered by the perpetrators of the Inquisition, he concluded that “Spain brought upon itself its own punishment.  In driving out the Moors and Jews it drove out its best citizens. ..Spain is the most insignificant of nations.  It is no longer a first-rate power.  In driving out the Moors and Jews it wrote its own epitaph.”

1897: A Purim Reception today marked “the formal opening of the new building and the improved hospital wards of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews at West 106thStreet.

1897: Cantor David Cahn will officiate at today’s funeral for Rabbi Ignatz Grossman which will be held at Rodef Sholom.  Rabbis Kaufman Kohler and Joseph Silverman will deliver eulogies.

1897: The Superintendent of the Montefiore Home For Chronic Invalids hosted its annual Purim Masquerade Ball tonight.

1898: In Mulhouse, Alsace, France, Constance Kenendel Lang and Baruch Kahn gave birth to Samuel Kahn

1898(27thof Adar, 5658: Sixty-two year old Babbette Frankfurt, the wife of Moses Frankfurt passed away today following which she was buried in the Hebrew Cemetery in Norfolk, Va.

1898: In Albany, Governor Black signed into law a bill introduced by Senator Cantor incorporating the Hebrew Charities Building in New York City.

1898: When the Austrian Reichsrath reconvenes today legislation will be introduced to exclude “from the privilege of suffrage all Jews and those remotely connected with that race either by marriage or remote ancestry.

1899: Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor delivered an address on “The Working Day” tonight at the People’s Home in New York City.

1899: The first plenary session of the Supreme Court of Appeals, with all three Chambers sitting jointly and Charles Mazeau presiding.

1902(12th of Adar II): Sixty-three year old Abraham Shalom Friedberg (Har Shalom) who went from watchmaker’s apprentice to tutor, author and editor whose works included Emek ha-Zasim , a Hebrew language “adaptation of  Grace Aguilar's Vale of Cedars" passed away today in Warsaw.

1902: Birthdate of Holocaust survivor Jermie Adler. A poor Jew born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, he and his wife moved to Liege, Belgium during the 1930’s where he ran a tailor shop that provided a living for him, his wife and their three children. The family hid successful for four years during the brutal German occupation. Tragically, while Adler was sick in the hospital, the Gestapo came and arrested his family including his nephew. They all perished except for one daughter, who, along with Adler survived the war.

1903: Birthdate of journalist and movie producer Mark Hellinger

1905: Albert Einstein publishes his theory on special relativity.

1905(14thof Adar II, 5665): Purim

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March 20

43BCE: Birthdate of the Roman poet, Ovid. In “The Art of Love, Part One” Ovid wrote "And do not miss the festival of Adonis, mourned of Venus, and the rites celebrated every seventh day by the Syrian Jews." Apparently Ovid knew about Jewish customs and, at least when it came to love, thought well of them (the Jews and the customs)

1191: The papacy of Clement III “who reissued the bull Sicut Judaeis, protecting the Jews at the time of the Third Crusade” came to an end today.

1488(28th of Adar, 5248): Celebration of the first “Cairo Purim”

1602: The Dutch East India Company is established. “By the middle of the seventeenth century, Jewish diamond merchants helped finance the Dutch East India Company, which organized its own trade route to India. So Amsterdam then replaced Lisbon as the port of entry in Europe for India's diamonds.”

1619: Sixty-two year old Matthias, the Holy Roman Emperor who as Archduke had acceded to the wishes of the Dutch and “established religious peace” in their provinces which helped to turn the Netherlands into a place of refuge for the Jews fleeing Spain and Portugal, passed away today.

1693: Talmudist Gerhson Ashkenazi, whose many followers including David Oppenheimer passed away today in Metz.

1705: In Great Britain, Hambro Synagogue founded (there are other claims that this now defunct synagogue was found variously in 1702 or 1707)

1764(16th Adar II, 5524): Salomon Nathan Maas, the husband of Hewle Meise and the father of Nathan and Salomon Maas passed away today and was buried in Frankfurt am Main.

1725: Birthdate of Abdul Hamid I, the Ottoman Sultan who employed two Jews from Salonica, Doctor Joseph and Doctor Cohen.

1799(13th of Adar II, 5559):Ta'anit Esther


1799: French forces under the command of Napoleon began the siege of Acre. This was part of Napoleon’s campaign that stretched from Egypt through Palestine. Napoleon’s campaign in the eastern Mediterranean marked the start of serious Western involvement in the land that would eventually become the modern state of Israel.
1800: Birthdate of Gottfried Bernhardy, who was “professor and director the philological seminary at Halle.
1806(1st of Nisan): Rabbi Joseph Harif of Zamosc, author of Mishnat Hakhamim passed away today
1810(14th of Adar II, 5570): Purim
1815: After escaping from Elba, Napoleon enters Paris with a regular army of 140,000 and a volunteer force of around 200,000, beginning his "Hundred Days" rule. In a 1930’s movie about the Rothschilds, Nathan Rothschild agrees to pledge his entire fortune to defeat Napoleon. In exchange for his generosity, he demands that the Austrians and Prussian remove their restrictions against the Jews. “There is a legend told that on the day of the Battle of Waterloo, Nathan Mayer Rothschild came to the floor of the London Stock Exchange, leaned against a pillar, and started selling. It was well known that the Rothschilds had their own independent sources of information and intelligence, and nobody knew the results of the battle, so when he began to sell, everyone thought that England had lost, and they began selling, too. That forced a panic in the market. As much as 15%-20% of the value of the stocks fell in about three hours. And after they had fallen so low, Rothschild turned around and began buying. It is said that he knew all along that the Duke of Wellington had defeated Napoleon and that the British market would go up. And when the official news came the next day that the British had won, the market went up 1000 points, making Rothschild even wealthier. It is reputed that on that coup alone, a substantial amount of the Rothschild fortune was made.”

1816: Miriam Marks, a native of Sing Sing, NY and the daughter of Michael Marks married her first husband Jonas Barnett today.
1816:  Montague Marks married Hannah Moses at the Great Synagogue.
1825(1st of Nisan, 5585): Rosh Chodesh Nisan
1826: Jacob Tenachem ben Yedediah Shmuel married Beila bat Asher at the Hambro Synagogue today.
1836: Birthdate of Sir Edward John Poynter, the English painter who drew on the Bible as topics for his works as can be seen by his paintings “King Solomon,” King Solomon’s Temple,”  “The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon” and “Israel in Egypt.”

1837(13th of Adar II, 5597): Ta’anit Esther; erev Purim
1843(18th of Adar II, 5603): Solomon Titkin, the son of Abraham Titkin, the chief rabbi at Breslau and an opponent of the Reform movement, passed away today.

1848(15th of Adar II, 5608): Shushan Purim

1848(15th of Adar II, 5608): Twenty Jews were killed in riots and street fighting that took place in Berlin. Anti-Jewish riots also spread to Bavaria, Baden, Hamburg and many other cities. This marked the start of the Revolution of 1848 that swept the states of Germany. In the end the liberals would lose, sparking a large migration of Germans including many German Jews to the United States. These freedom loving liberals would arrive in the United States just in time to support the infant Republican Party and provide a major element in the coalition that saved the Union during the Civil War.

1857: The New York Times reported today that "Jews are always scrupulously careful about the solemnization of marriages. Two witnesses, two men of character and unconnected with the parties by relationship have to sign the marriage document and ten adult males must be present to participate in the" ceremonies.

1854(20thof Adar, 5614): Sixty-three year Moses Montefiore Ancona, the London born of Moses Ancona and the former Hannah Montefiore, who lived in Barbados and Jamaica before settling in Pennsylvania where he used the first name of Moses, married Mary Ann Knapp, and practiced medicine passed away today.after contracting pneumonia.

1859(14th of Adar II, 5619): Purim

1863: Nathan and Regina Ullman Stern brought their fourteen year old son Leopold Stern, who would become “known as the dean of diamond importers in American” and “three time Republican Presidential elector in New York” to the United States today.

1865: Birthdate of Charlottenbrug, Prussia native Hermann Picha, the German-Jewish actor whose career spanned two decades starting in 1914 and ending in 1935.

1870: “The Board of Directresses” of "B'nai Jeshurun Ladies' Hebrew Benevolent Society," met today in the 34th Street Synagogue. Mrs. Leo Henry, the President and one of the founders of the society, “presented a report calling attention to the number of destitute aged and infirm Hebrews in the city, who were constantly making application for relief which the society was unable to confer; also urging the ladies to devise some practical measure which, when adopted, might furnish permanent relief to these distressed and suffering co-religionists, without interfering with the original objects of the organization.” The society had been formed in 1848 to provide relief for “indigent females.”

1871: In The Hague, Johanna and Maurice Kann gave birth to Emma Louise Kann

1878(15th of Adar II, 5638): Shushan Purim

1878:  Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli “gave away the bride” when Hannah Rothschild married Philip Archibald Primrose, fifth Earl of Rosebery.  The Prince of Wales attended the ceremony that made her the Countess of Rosebery.

1879: It was reported today that Dr. Henry S. Jacobs will deliver a lecture this weekend at the Norfolk Street Synagogue sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Union.

1880: J W Seligman & Company are parties to a suit to be heard this morning by Judge Thayer concerning creating a receivership for financially troubled Memphis, Carthage and Northwestern Railroad Company. Jesse Seligman is one the trustees for the railroad’s bond holder

1880: Tonight, the Concord Society is sponsoring a charity for the benefit of the Young Ladies’ Charitable Union which is part of the United Hebrew Charities. This first annual event is being held at New York’s Lexington Avenue Opera House.

1881: Birthdate of Parisian Eugene Paul Louis Schueller, the founder of the cosmetic and beauty company L’Oreal and employer of Efrayim Khahneman, whom he rescued from the Nazis which meant that Efrayim and his wife Rachel could give birth to Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman.

1883: In Warsaw, Siegmund Simon Epstein and Sarah Sophia (Lurie) Epstein gave birth to Russian-American mathematical physicist Paul Sophus Epstein.


1885: The Yiddish theater season opened in New York with an operetta by Abraham Goldfaden

1886(13th of Adar II, 5646): Parashat Tzav; Shabbat Zachor; Erev Purim

1886: Birthdate of Jake “Greasy Thumb” Guzik, the native of Galicia whose life of crime included time with Al Capone on the south side of Chicago.

1886: In Philadelphia, Emily Grace Solis and Dr. Solomon Solis-Cohen gave birth to “prize-winning poet, author, translator, historian, and communal leader Emily Solis-Cohen.” (As reported by Arthur Kiron)
1887: Birthdate of Hartog Hamburger the Amsterdam diamond polisher and baseball who died after being hit in the head with a line drive.

1890(28th of Adar, 5650): A Hebrew school teacher named Nathan Wisskerz “committed suicide” this evening “by turning on the gas in his room” at 51 Henry Street.

1890: in Gelsenkirchen, Julius Hess, an attorney and his wife Elisabeth gave birth to Ernst Mortiz Hess, “ the baptized German Jew who “commanded the company of the Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment 16 in which Adolf Hitler served during WW I.”

1890: Leo von Caprivi began who was an opponent of the anti-Semitic parties, began serving as Chancellor of Germany and Prime Minister of Prussia

1891: Fifty-two year old American actor Lawrence Barrett who portrayed the character of Shylock “with force, sincerity and at times splendid effect” but was still not on the level of Edwin “Eddy” Booth whose portrayal of Shakespeare’s Jew was considered to be the best of them all.

1892: Birthdate of Newcastle-on-Tyne native Irving J. Caplan who came to the United States in 1902 at the age of ten, became a successful businessman in Troy, NY, married Marie Caplan and served as a director of the United Jewish Services.

1892: “Ivory in the Past” discussed the two sources of this item in ancient times.  While the exploits of Hannibal and others points to an African source the fact that the ancient Hebrews and those living on the Indian coast and in Ceylon use the same word for Elephant (habba) and the similarity between the Hebrew word for Monkey (koph) and Sanskrit word for monkey (kapi) are two of the indications that India which was home to elephants was the other source for ivory along with the proven fact that Solomon conducted trade with the orient.

1893: “Errors About Intermarriage” published today provided the views of Rabbi Joseph Silverman of Temple Emanu El on this subject.  According to Silverman, the Bible only prohibits marriage to seven Canaanite tribes and as can be seen from the examples of Moses and Solomon allows for marriage to non-Jews.

1893: William F. Wharton completed his services Assistant Secretary of State during which he had asserted “that the Department of State is without an information respecting the alleged suspension of the Russian edict against the Jews.”

1894: As the Board of Health struggles to combat the dangers of tuberculosis, it is having 15,000 copies of instructions on how to deal with consumptives printed in a variety of languages including Hebrew. (Apparently, the city officials did not know that Yiddish would have been a better choice for the immigrants from Eastern Europe)

1894: The Ladies’ Bikur Cholim Society hosted a Purim celebration for youngsters at their industrial school.

1895: In Brooklyn, Louis Grunhurt and his sister Mrs. Mary Ballowa appeared in surrogate court to contest the will of the their brother, the late Dr. Bernhard Grunhurt who was reportedly lost at sea last August.

1895: The German Societies in New York asked that the fountain in memory of the poet Heinrich Heine be placed at 59th street and 5thAvenue entrance to Central Park.

1896: The list published today of those institutions that the Board of Estimate and Apportionment has given money to from the theatrical and concert license fund includes Beth Israel ($100); United Hebrew Charities of the City of New York ($1,000) and Montefiore Home ($500)

1896: “The Hebrew Infant Asylum Benefit” published today described the successful auction conducted by Maurice Barrymore and Cyril Scott for boxes and seats at the upcoming performance of The Heart of Maryland, the proceeds of which will go to the Jewish charity.

1896: Speaking of the Jubilee Celebration being held to mark the 50thanniversary of the founding of Shaaray Tefila, Rabbi De Sola Menes who has led the congregation for 18 years, said today. “The congregation Shaaray Tefila in the half century of its existence has occupied a unique position among the Jewish congregations of this city” because “it has held the mean between the radical reform and the ultra-orthodox” making “haste slowly” while moving “sedately with the times.”

1896: Dr. M.H. Harris delivered his second and final lecture today on the Inquisition at Temple Israel in Brooklyn, NY tonight.  During the lecture he defended himself against charges of “ignorance, prejudice and falsifying history” made by Revered Brann of St. Agnes’s Roman Catholic Church made after the first lecture. “The Catholic Church would like to rid itself of this blog upon its annals.  The fact is the Inquistion was a religious institution, but was mixed up with civil affairs…The fact that the Inquisition was instituted to investigate heresy is the best proof of its religious character.”  (Holocaust deniers were preceded by Inquisition deniers)

1897: Yeshiva Rabbi Isaac Elhanan opened in New York as an Orthodox rabbinical seminary. It later expanded into Yeshiva University, with both Jewish and secular studies, a medical (Einstein) and a graduate school (Ferkauf).

1897: Oscar S. Straus, formerly the United States Minister to Turkey, returned to New York from Europe today.

1897: It was reported today that Mrs. Joseph B. Bloomingdale and Mrs. Edward Fridenberg had been responsible for the recent party given for those staying at the Amsterdam Street facility of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum. Mrs. Bloomingdale is the wife of the founder of Bloomingdales Department Store.

1897(16th of Adar II, 5657): Seventy-four year old Dr. Ignatz Grossman the native of Hungary who was ordained as a rabbi forty years ago passed away today in New York City.

1898: Yetta Firber took the three children of David Bogin, who were her grandchildren home from the police station after it appeared they had been abandoned their father. It turned out that they their mother had died in Denver and they had gotten lost on their way to join their father in East Hartford where he had gone for work.  (Such was the chaotic life of the children of the “immigrant generations.”)

1899: Herzl established the Jewish Colonial Trust as the financial arm of the World Zionist Organization. Its goal was to encourage Jewish settlement and projects which would “advance the Zionist cause.” One of its subsidiaries, the Anglo-Palestine Company, later became Bank Leumi. Other investment helped create the Israel Electric Cooperation and Bank Hapoalim.
1899: Private Joseph Weinstein, Joseph Polskey, George C. Hahn, Phillip Isaacs, Julius C. Meyer and Harry Newburg were among those who completed their military service with the Third Regiment of the Connecticut Volunteer Infantry was mustered out of the U.S. Army at Savannah, GA.
1900: Madame Butterfly: A Tragedy of Japan, a play in one act by David Belasco premiered today at the Herald Square Theatre in New York City.

1901: Russian bank director Levontin presents his plan to buy up the shares of the Jaffa-Jerusalem railroad. Levontin will become the assistant manager of the Bank in London.
1902: Birthdate of Baltimore native David Lasser, the science fiction writer and social activist. (As reported by Lawrence Van Gelder)

1903: Lady Sybil Grant the daughter of the 5th Earl of Rosebery and Hannah de Rothschild, the only child of Mayer Amschel de Rothschild and a granddaughter of Nathan Mayer Rothschild married Charles John Cecil Grant.

1903: American author and humorist Charles Godfrey Leland passed way.  In his memoir, Leland recounted the following exchange with George Eliot concerning her one novel about Jews.  “One day she told me that, in order to write Daniel Deronda she had read through 200 b00s.  I longed to tell her she had better have learned Yiddish and talked with 200 Jews and been taught as I was by my friend Solomon the Sadducee the art of distinguishing Fraulein Lowenthal of the Ashkenazim from Senorita Arguado of the Sephardim  by the corners of their eyes.
1905: The Constitution Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith continued to meet for a second day New Orleans.
1906: Almost two years after the death of Herzl, Sir Edward Gray wrote to Leopold Greenberg rejecting the proposal for a Jewish settlement in Sinai for the third and last time.

1906(23rd of Adar, 5666): Fifty-five year old Isaac Gellis the successful businessman and Jewish community leader who came to the United States thirty-five years ago who has served as a trustee of the Hebrew Sheltering Arms Society and the Montefiore Home passed away today at his residence on Henry Street.

1906: Birthdate of Abraham Beame, first Jewish Mayor of New York City.
1907: Southern African financier Solomon Barnato Joel, the son of Joel and Catherine Joel, Ellen (Nellie) Ridley, gave birth to their daughter Eileen who married John Rogerson and became Eileen Daphne Solvia Rogerson.
1907 (6th of Adar, 5667): Birthdate of Moshe Aharon, the sixth child of Shoshe and Rabbi Avraham Halevi Shapiro, whom the sainted Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, zt"l, pronounced to be an ilui (child prodigy)
1909: Birthdate of Cincinnati native and San Francisco physiatrist Meyer Aaron Zeli


1911: In Berlin, “Austrian theater director Max Reinhardt manager of the Deutsches Theater, and his first wife Else Heims” gave birth to Gottfried Goldman, who gained fame as producer-director Gottfried Reihnardt.

1911: Birthdate of Milo Sperber, the “Polish born English actor, director and writer” who was the brother of Manès Sperber.

1911: “The body of a thirteen year old boy, Andrei Yustschinksi was discovered near a brick factory on the outskirts of the Ukrainian capital of Kiev.” This simple statement describes the first event in what will eventually become The Case of Mendel Bellis, one of the most infamous episodes of anti-Semitism in Czarist Russia.
1913(11th of Adar II, 5673): Ta’anit Esther

1913(11th of Adar II, 5673): Sixty-nine year old Confederate Army veteran Henry Lazarus passed away today in Camden, Arkansas.
1915: American Jewish Relief Committee apportions $30,000 for Jews in Palestine, $1000 per month (for 6 months) for Palestinian soup kitchens, and $3000 per month (for 10 months) to Turkish Jews outside of Palestine.

1916(15th of Adar II, 5676): Shushan Purim

1916: Albert Einstein published his theory of relativity in a journal called Annalen der Physik. (And that is much as I know about it except to refer you to Dr. Joe Rosen, the only person I know who understands it.)

1916: As of today “gifts valued at close to $100,000 and ranging all the way from a sticks of candy, to a grand piano, a seven passenger touring car and even building sites in the Bronx and Staten Islands have been received by the People’s Relief Committee which is organizing the bazaar and fair for Jewish suffers to be held at the Grand Central Palace” starting in the last week of March and continuing into April.

1916: Today, it is estimated that the gold and jewels given by the Jews of Baltimore at a mass meeting held “under the auspices of the American Jewish Relief Committee” are worth at least $3,500.00.

1917: In what must have seemed like a momentous occasion at the time for all Russians, including her Jewish citizens a manifesto issued by the new Russian Provisional Government published today began “Citizens: The great work has been accomplished.  By a powerful stroke the Russian people have overthrown the old regime.  A new Russia is born.  This coup d’etat has set the keystone upon long years of struggle.” (In less than a year, the Bolsheviks would sweep the forces of democratic reform aside and create a dictatorship every bit as vile as the Czars.)

1917: Tonight’s mass meeting in Madison Square Garden which “has been arranged with the co-operation of the Forward Association, the Bund, the Russian Social Democrats, the Jewish Socialist Federation of America, the Workingmen’s Circle, the United Hebrew Trades and the New York local of the Socialist Party” and for which 8,000 tickets have been sold, will mark “the first time in the history of” the city of New York that “thousands of Jewish refugees will assemble to cheer a Russian government.”

1917: In an exclusive interview given to the Associate Press today the new Foreign Minister of Russia said that “there now appear to be no obstacles” to “a new commercial treaty between Russia and the United States” since “all the disabilities governing Jews” from America coming to Russia “have been removed.”

1917: Following the sinking of several U.S. ships by German submarines, President Wilson met with his cabinet who voted unanimously in favor of going to war four days before Rosh Chodesh Nisan.

1918(7th of Nisan, 5678): Fifty year old Richmond, VA native Mitchell H. Mark who moved to Buffalo where he opened a hat store and then with his brother Moe “founded the Vitascope Theatre…one of the first permanent movie theatres” built anywhere in the world.

1918: Birthdate of comedian and television game show host, Jack Berry. Jack Barry met and teamed up with Dan Enright in Borscht Belt clubs. They started Winky Dink and You, a children's show known for the special transparent covers children had to put over the TV screen so they could draw the "hidden pictures" during Winky's adventures. Barry and Enright were also instrumental in producing and hosting early game shows, such as Concentration and Tic Tac Dough. Barry is best remembered as the host on the game show “21” which went from sensational television hit to be the symbol for corruption in the communications industry.

1918: It was reported today that based on information supplied by the Jewish Welfare Board, “Jewish families in the vicinity of army and navy cantonments”..
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March 19

235: End of the reign of Severus Alexander, the 26th Emperor of the Roman Empire

1191: Eighty Jews were burned at Bray, France for trying to execute a vassal who had killed a Jew. The Jews were not a lynch-mob. They had the permission of the local ruler which is more than one can say for those who killed the Jews.

1227: Election of Pope Gregory IX “a prominent opponent of Judaism during his life, condemning it as "containing every kind of vileness and blasphemy". In the 1234 Decretals, he invested the doctrine of perpetua servitus iudaeorum – perpetual servitude of the Jews – with the force of canonical law. According to this, the followers of the Talmud would have to remain in a condition of political servitude until Judgment Day. The doctrine then found its way into the doctrine of servitus camerae imperialis, or servitude immediately subject to the Emperor's authority, promulgated by Frederick II. The Jews were thus suppressed from having direct influence over the political process and the life of Christian states into the 19th century with the rise of liberalism” (Dietmar Preissler, Frühantisemitismus in der Freien Stadt Frankfurt und im Großherzogtum Hessen (1810 bis 1860), p.30, Carl Winter Universitätsverlag, Heidelberg 1989, ISBN 3-533-04129-8 (German).

1406: Seventy three year old Tunisian born “Arab historiographer and historian” Ibn Khaldun who described the Jarawa or Jrāwa, a Berber Zenata tribal confederacy that flourished in northwest Africa during the 7th century were Jews.

1497: In an effort to prevent the Jews from fleeing Christian persecutions, King Emanuel, secretly ordered the baptism of all children between the ages of four and fourteen.

1590: Birthdate of William Bradford who served as governor of Plymouth Colony for over 30 years. Bradford was typical of so many of his ilk who saw a connection with their lives and what they called “The Old Testament.”  Bradford studies the Hebrew language because, as he put it, “Though I am growne aged, yet I have had a longing desire to see with my owne eyes, something of that most ancient langue and holy tongue, in which the Law, the oracles of God were write; in which God, and angels spake to the holy patriarchs, of time; and what names were given to things, from the creation…for my owne contente.” (William Bradford: Plymouth’s Faithful Pilgrim by Gary D. Schmidt)

1640(24th of Adar): Rabbi Chaim Algazi of Constantinople, author of Nesivot ha-Mishpat passed away today. A native of Ismir, Turkey, Chaim Algazai served as the rabbi of Rhodes before returning to his home town to serve as Chief Rabbi.  B’nei Chayay, his commentary on the Four Turim, was edited by Rabbi Araron Alfandri, his granddaughter’s husband and the author of Yad Aaron (As reported by Aryeh Kaplan)

1684: Birthdate of Jean Astruc, the French Catholic doctor and descendant from a medieval Jewish family “who wrote the first great treatise on syphilis and venereal diseases” and one of the founders of “modern Pentateuch criticism” who contended that Moses and the copyists created a book that was based on two separate sets of documents – one that used Elhiom for the name of the divinity and the other that used YHWH for the name of the divinity.

1721: The Papacy of Clement XI, who issued a bull extending the rights of converts over their Jewish families, ended today.

1772(14th of Adar II, 5532): Purim

1800: Montague Levoi married Catherine Chapman today at the Great Synagogue.

1803 :( 25th of Adar): Rabbi Moses ben Abraham, author of Meliz Yosher passed away today.  

1804: Sir Alexander Schomberg, the son of Meyer Löw Schomberg a German-Jewish doctor who settled in England, and who began his distinguished naval career in 1743 after becoming an Anglican passed away today

1806: Jacob Hirsch Kann, the son of Miriam and Isaac Jacob Kann and his wife Jetta Kann gave birth to Theresie Wetheim, the wife of Bernhard Wertheimer

1807: Birthdate of Louis Félicien Joseph Caignart de Saulcy the French archaeologist who made several trips to Palestine and Syria from 1850 to 1869 where among other things he “sketched the first map of Masada,” “identified Tell es-Sultan as the site of ancient Jericho” and “conducted the first archaeological dig” at “the Tombs of the Kings in Jerusalem.”

1817: Aaron Goldsmid married Sophia Salomons at the Great Synagogue today.

1821: In Devon, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Netterville Burton and Martha Baker gave birth to Captain Sir Richard Francis Burton one of those eccentric 19thEnglishman who dabbled in the military, exploration and writing. Among his many works was The Jew The Gypsy and El Islam

1822: Seventy-four year old Johann Ludwig Ewald an advocate for Jewish emancipation “who wrote two pamphlets in defense of the Jews” and who “argued that the Jews were not worse than others, that their shortcomings were the result of persecution, and that no one had a right to expect them to improve until they had been given equal rights with other citizens” passed away in Carlsruhe.

1822: Boston, Massachusetts, incorporated as a city. “The earliest mention of a Jew in Massachusetts bears the date May 3, 1649, and there are references to Jews among the inhabitants of Boston in 1695 and 1702; but they can be regarded only as stragglers, as no settlers made their homes in Massachusetts until the Revolutionary war drove the Jews from Newport. In 1777 Aaron Lopez and Jacob Rivera, with fifty-nine others, went from Newport to Leicester, and established themselves there; but this settlement

did not survive the close of the war. A number of Jews, including the Hays family, settled at Boston before 1800. Of these Moses Michael Hays was the most important. In 1830 a number of Algerian Jews went to Boston, but they soon disappeared. The history of the present community begins with the year 1840, when the first congregation was established.”

1831: Birthdate of Joshua Glaser, who gained fame as Julius Anton Glaser who converted to Christianity and became a leading Austrian jurist “and liberal politician.”

1832: Birthdate of Ármin Vámbé

1839: A “pogrom, known as the Allahdad, broke out in the Iranian city of Mashhad. At the time of the pogrom, the city of Mashhad was home to about 2,500 Jews. The event devastated the Jews of Mashhad, who were violently forced into converting to Islam. The ruler of Mashhad ordered the authorities to attack the Jews. A large mob went on to the Jewish quarter and proceeded to burn down the synagogue, destroy Jewish homes and businesses, abduct Jewish girls, kill about 40 Jews and injure many more. The Jews had knives held to their throat and were forced to renounce Judaism and accept Islam. While some of the Jews left Mashhad following the incident, others stayed and would go on to lead a secret Jewish life. While adopting Muslim customs in public, most would maintain Jewish tradition in the privacy of their homes. There are no Jews left in Mashhad today. Most of the descendants of Mashhad's Jews live in Israel.”

1848(14thof Adar II, 5608) Purim

1848: Birthdate of Wyatt Earp. Born in Monmouth, Illinois, this fabled lawman gained fame as the Marshall of Deadwood, Dodge City and Tombstone, Arizona. Much of Earp's life was spent as a gambler, prospector and failed businessman. He was not Jewish, but his third wife was. While living in Tombstone, Earp took up with Josephine Sarah Marcus Earp, daughter of practicing Jewish family living in San Francisco. Despite her claims that they married, no written record existed. However, they remained together, if nothing else in common law marriage until Earp's death in 1929. Earp's ashes were buried in the Marcus Family Plot at Jewish Hills of Eternity Cemetery in Colma, California, south of San Francisco. While Ms. Earp did not live among Jews for most of her adult life, she too chose to rejoin her people in death and is buried alongside her famous husband. For more about this interesting marriage you can read I Married Wyatt Earp, Mrs. Earp's book about their life together.

1849: Joseph Ansell Spier married Catherine Hyam today.

1853: Things turned violent in Jerusalem today, Palm Sunday. Greeks and Armenians fought in front of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and 24 Protestant missionaries from London scuffling with a group of Jews in the streets of the City of David.

1860: The "Wealth, Power and Enterprise of the Hebrew People, as evidenced by the Building of King Solomon's Temple," was the subject of a lecture delivered this evening in Temple Hall by Rabbi Raphall.

1862: The New York Timespublished a letter today in which took issue with that paper’s characterization of Senator David Levy Yulee as being Jewish. “In your well-merited rebuke of the traitor Yulee … you were led into an error which I am sure you will correct, as it reflects unjustly upon the loyalty of a large religious body of the community. You speak of Yulee, (the Ex-Senator) and Finegan (the ex-contractor) as "Jew and Irishman," thus placing the supposed religious belief of Yulee in juxtaposition with the nationality of his co-traitor. The facts are. Levy is an American, and foreswore the religion of his father’s many years ago, married a Christian lady of wealth, was baptized a Christian and had his name changed by the Legislature of his State to ‘Yulee’ thus adding to the many proofs, that a bad Jew will never make it good Christian.”

1867: In Detroit, members of Congregation Beth El gave the trustees of Tabernacle Baptist Church $17,000 for their property which would be home to Beth El for the next 36 years.  D.J. Workum, President of the congregation and Martin Butzel were leaders of in the negotiations on behalf of Beth El.

1867: The Ashkenazim of living in Palestine sought permission to slaughter their own meat. The Ashkenazim appealed to the British to intervene on their behalf. In the formal letter of request to the Consul, it stated that both the Muslims (and the Sephardim) “understood that the Ashkenazim were not true Israelites." This concerned the Ashkenazim because they made money selling certain cuts of meat to the Muslims, and if the Muslims did not consider them Jews, they would not buy their meat.

1868: In Butrimonys, Albert and Judith Valvrojenski gave birth to Senda Valvrojenski who gained fame as Senda Berenson Abbot, a pioneer in the game of women’s basketball.  She was also the “sister of the art historian Bernard Berenson and a great-great-aunt of the photographer Berry Berenson and the actress and model Marisa Berenson.”

1873(20thof Adar, 5633): Sixty year economist Wilhelm Stahl who was elected to the Frankfort Parliament in 1848 and became a professor at the University of Giessen 3 years later passed away today.

1874(1st of Nisan, 5634): Rosh Chodesh Nisan

1875: In New York’s Part II of the Marine Court Chief Just Shea presided over breach of contract brought by Jennie Jonas, a Polish Jewess against Victor Goldstein for his failure to marry him. Jonas was represented by famed litigator Samuel Hirsh. In the end, the jury found for the plaintiff and awarded her $75 in damages.

1876: Sam and Sarah Nelken gave birth to their son William.

1877: It was reported today that the Marquis de Compiegne, the famous French explorer had died in the interior of Africa after having been mortally wounded during a duel he fought “with a German Jews named Mayer.” The duel was brought on by a dispute over geographic matters and insults to Mayer’s girlfriend.

1878(14th of Adar II, 5638): Purim

1878: In Mohileff, Russia, Tobias Weinshenker and Elka Markman gave birth to Esther T. Weinshenker who came to the Unied States in 1886 where she organized the Clara de Hirsch Society in Chicago and became the national chairman of the Ladies’ Organization of the Federation of American Zionists whose sixth and seventh conventions she attended as a delegate.

1880: It was reported today from Madrid, the Jews of Morocco are planning to honor the United States Minister who interceded on their behalf so that they would be protected by the Sultan.

1880: According to a review of “Sunshine and Storm in the East” published today, Lady Brassy reported that one of the difference between the Jews and Moslems of Morocco was that the Moslem women “were muffed up to the eyes and waddled along like animated bundles of dirty clothes” the Jewish women were “gorgeously draped” and their faces were uncovered.

1880: In New York the Board of Estimate and Apportionment allocated funds to be paid to charities taking care of youngster committed to their care by the Police magistrates including $1,691.43 for the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.

1884: Birthdate of Galicia native Yiddish American playwright Sholem Perlmutter.

1887: Seventy four year old Józef Ignacy Kraszewski, the author of The Jew a romantic novel in which, “the Jews are made to stand as a kind of buffer between the Russians and the Poles and when the collision comes” between these two “it is generally the Jews who suffer” passed away today.

1888: Birthdate of Peretz Naftali, the native of Berlin who made Aliyah in 1933 and served in Israel’s first Knesset

1888(7th of Nisan, 5648): Forty-five year old Salomon Abendana Belmonte, the Hamburg born attorney who was editor of the Hamburger Reform and sever as a member of the Hamburg starting in 1877 passed away today.

1890: “Slaves of the Sweater” published today summarized the arbitration hearings between the striking members of the Shirtmakers’ Union and the contractors for whom they work. The workers claim they work fourteen hours a day for as little a four dollars a week.  The contractors claim that the workers only labor from 7:30 am to 6 pm with half an hour for dinner and that “a good female operative could make $9 a week and man $13.”  The work used to be done by “German, American and Irish girls” but they have been driven out by the Jews who are now on strike.  The manufacturers, most of whom are Jewish, claim they know nothing about working conditions because they deal only with the contractors.

1891: It was reported today that Solomon Goldstein and his three sons were among those fortunate enough to have survived the fire at the tenement building at the corner of Hester and Allen Streets but one of them, Abraham, was injured and had to be taken to Gouvernor Hospitals. 

1892: Jose S.K. Mizrachee, the Syrian born Jew charged with shooting Rabbi Mendes in New York City, is being held at Police Headquarter and is scheduled to make his first appearance in Part I of the Court of General Sessions this morning.

1893: An altercation broke out in New Haven, CT today after carpenters came to work on a house on Rose Street which was being converted to a synagogue.  The current occupants of the house claimed that the workers would disturb their Sabbath peace, this being Sunday and began attacking the workers and the Jews who accompanied them. 

1893: Following regular services at Temple Emanu-El, Rabbi Silverman delivered a lecture on “Popular Errors About Intermarriage” which is part of series of lectures he is delivering “on popular errors concerning the Jews.”

1894: Mrs. Charles Krumm took $20 out of the safe and saw her husband give it to Policman Charles Levy $20 (in what was either a bribe or payoff)

1894: Birthdate of Jiří (Georgo) Mordechai Langer

1896: “Polish Jews Going to Cripple Creek” published today described the passage of 80 families, numbering 260 Polish Jewish immigrants who passed through Fort Worth Texas on their way to Cripple Creek where they going to begin life as farmers.

1896: In Albany, the State Board of Regents held its regular quarterly meeting during which it granted an “unregistered provisional charter to the Hebrew Free School” in Syracuse, NY.

1896: “The auction sale of seats and boxes for the performance of ‘The Heart of Maryland’ for the benefit of the Hebrew Infant Asylum was held at the Herald Square Theatre this afternoon.”

1897: It was reported today that new wing of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews which was completed six weeks ago cost $75,000 and allows the institution to care for as many as 300 people.

1897: The ladies of the Sewing Society of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum hosted an afternoon of entertainment for children at the facility on Amsterdam Avenue.

1897(15thof Adar II, 5657): Shushan Purim

1897(15thof Adar II, 5657): Seventy-one year old Ignaz “Ignatz” Grossman, the Hungarian born rabbi and husband of Anna Rosenbaum Grossbaum who came to Brooklyn in 1873 to lead Congregation Beth Elohim and later Congregation B’nai Abraham passed away today.

1897: It was reported today that the Hebrew Education Society of Philadelphia had raised $9,114 last year to support its programs that include weekly lectures by Ephraim Lederer on the U.S. Constitution.

1898: Benjamin "Ben" Schlesinger the native of Lithuania who would become the nine-time President of International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union became a United States citizen in Chicago today.

1898: Three Jewish children, Celia Bogin (11), Louis Begin (9) and Kate Bogin (4) whose mother had died two weeks ago in Denver were taken to headquarters of the United Hebrew Charities in New York by a cabman who found them on the street.

1899: Florence Prag a teacher at Lowell High School in San Francisco married Julius Kahn, a former Broadway actor, state legislator, and, at the time, a first-term U.S. Representative from San Francisco. The couple had two sons, Julius, Jr., and Conrad. She would later serve five terms in the U.S. House of Representative as a Republican after succeeding her husband in office following his death.

1900: Herzl has another meeting with Austrian Prime Minister Ernest von Koerber.

1901: In Paris, Leo Mielziner, an artist and the son of a Rabbi and the former Ella Friend gave birth to “American theatrical scenic and lighting designer” and convert to Catholicism Joseph “Jo” Mielziner, the “brother of actor-director Kenneth MacKenna.”

1901: Gladys Helen Rachel Goldsmid and Louis Samuel Montagu, 2nd Baron Swaythling gave birth to Captain (Hon) The Hon. Ewen Edward Samuel Montagu, RNR, the man who played a key role in the creating the subterfuge that helped make the landings for Operation Husky a success. After the war, Montague filled vital leadership roles for the Jewish community in the United Kingdom.

1903: In Lviv, Isaac Gruss, “a Talmudic scholar and a banker” and his wife gave birth to American financier and philanthropist Joseph Saul Gross, the husband of attorney Caroline Zelaznik, the father of Martin David Gross and Dr. Evelyn Gruss Lipper and the father-in-law of producer Kenneth Lipper.

1905(12th of Adar II): Yiddish novelist Isaac Moses Bader, the husband of Helen Bader and the father of playwright and journalist Gershon Bader passed away today.

1905: Governor N.C. Blanchard and Charles F. Buck, Grand Master of the Masons were among those delivering addresses of welcome at the opening of the meeting in New Orleans of “The Constitution Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of B’nai B’rith.”

1905: In Mannheim Luise Máthilde Wilhelmine (Hommel) and Albert Friedrich Speer gave birth to “Hitler’s architect” Albert Speer the member of the Nazi inner circle who beat the hangman by convincing people that he did not know about the fate of the Jews.

1906: A brief note had been received from French journalist Francis de Pressensé describing the demise of the six year old French weeklyL’European which provided Europeans with, among other things, an accurate account of events in Russia including “the Jewish massacres” and which included the prediction that following the Russian defeat by the Japanese, “one does not have be a prophet…to predict that it will be the Jews who will be called to account” and that the “Russian dupes” will release “the fury of revenge on the Jews.”

1906: “The Beauty of Bath” a musical comedy produced by Charles Frohman opened at the Aldwych Theatre.

1906: Cyrus L. Sulzberger told a group of Jewish women meeting at the home of Mrs. Benjamin Stern that “there a 700,000 Jews” living in this city but that only “only 4,000 contribute to Hebrew Charities”

1909: The Sultan ratifies election of the Hahambashi Haim Nahoum who had had an audience with the Turkish ruler.

1911(19thof Adar, 5671): Seventy year old Rabbi Immanuel Manchem Adler, the son of Rabbi Joseph Gabriel Adler and the husband of Judith Adler passed away today in Bavaria

1911: International Women’s Day was marked for the first time, by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. In the Austro-Hungarian Empire alone, there were 300 demonstrations. In Vienna, women paraded on the Ringstrasse and carried banners honoring the martyrs of the Paris Commune. Women demanded that women be given the right to vote and to hold public office. They also protested against employment sex discrimination.

1913: Lucille Lefurgey is scheduled to deliver a lecture this evening on “Hamlet” at the Chicago Hebrew Insitute.

1915: “The Jewish Weekly, edited by Herman Bernstein published a statement by the famous Danish author, Georg Brandes” describing the pogrom-like environment facing the Jews in Russian Poland.

1915: Reports published today estimate that there are between 250,000 and 400,000 Jews fighting in the Russian Army.

1915: As attempts were being made to form a Jewish fighting force in the British Army, Joseph Trumpeldor held a meeting of all the volunteers that was attended by senior British military leaders including Major-General Alexander Godly during which “they heard how it would be the first time in British history that non-Britons or non-colonials were to be admitted as a unit into the British forces. Patterson explained that the soldier who carries ammunition and supplies to the trenches requires no less courage than the man who fires a rifle and Godley declared that ‘Today the English People have entered into a covenant with the Jewish People’ (As described by Martin Sugarman)

1915: The Young Men’s Hebrew Army and Navy Association..
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March 18

37: The Roman Senate annuls Tiberius' will and proclaims Caligula emperor. Caligula ruled from 37 until his death in 41. From the Jewish perspective he was not so much an anti-Semite as a lunatic whose crazy behavior affected the Jews. The biggest problems rose from his belief that he was a god and his insistence that the Jews, along with the rest of the Empire worship him. The Jews did not which led to a major confrontation. Additionally, Caligula wanted to place a huge statue of himself in Jerusalem. Fortunately he died before this travesty could take place.

1123: Opening of the First Lateran Council.  Unlike later councils, this meeting did not deal directly with issues related to the Jews. However Canon Eleven did give renewed impetus for the Crusades. “For effectively crushing the tyranny of the infidels, we grant to those who go to Jerusalem and also to those who give aid toward the defense of the Christians, the remission of their sins and we take under the protection of St. Peter and the Roman Church their homes, their families, and all their belongings, as was already ordained by Pope Urban II.”  Canon Eleven also equates going to fight in Spain with going to Jerusalem because Spain was under control of the Moors and the Church sought bring an end to this.

1160: Hamza ibn Asad abu Ya'la ibn al-Qalanisi an Arab politician and chronicler passed away in Damascus. His writings provide one of the few contemporary accounts of the First Crusade from the Moslem point of view including a description of the sacking of Jerusalem. The Jews had fought alongside the Muslims to defend the city against the attackers.  At the end, according Ibn al-Qalnisi, "The Jews assembled in their synagogue, and the Franks burned it over their heads.’ (The Franks was the terms easterners used to describe the Crusaders)

1190: Crusaders killed 750 Jews in Bury St Edmonds England. The logic of the Crusaders was why wait to kill infidels in the Holy Land when you can kill them right here at home. Just because these infidels were Jews and the infidels holding the Holy Land were Moslems did not seem to bother these noble Christian knights and their supporters.

1229: Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor declared himself King of Jerusalem during the Sixth Crusade. In what be lesson for modern times, Frederick’s use of diplomacy succeeded where the use of force by others had failed. His sixth crusade was not a military venture; a fact which drew the ire of the Roman Catholic Church. Instead, after landing in Palestine, he negotiated with the Moslems and gained control of Bethlehem, Nazareth and Jerusalem for a period of ten years.

1389: A priest living in Prague, Czechoslovakia was hit with a few grains of sand by small Jewish boys playing in the street. He became insulted and insisted that the Jewish community purposely plotted against him. Thousands were slaughtered, the synagogue and the cemetery were destroyed, and homes were pillaged. King Wenceslaus insisted that the responsibility rested with the Jews for venturing outside during Holy Week.

1478: In Spain, a group of Jews and conversos gathered for a Seder on the first night of Passover. “A young cavalier” discovered the group and reported the matter to the authorities. Since it was holy week, the Spanish decided that the Jews had gathered to “to blaspheme the Chrisitian religion.” When Alonso de Hojeda, the prior of the Convent of San Pablo in Seville and enemy of the Jews and New Christians heard of the event he took the news to Ferdinand and Isabella. Supposedly this was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” and the two monarchs petitioned the Holy See to issue a Bull authorizing an Inquisition. The Bull would be granted and the road to the expulsion of 1492 opened up like a superhighway.

1540: Today “R. Isaac Porto ha-Kohen obtained from the Duke of Mantua permission to build an Ashkenazic synagogue.”

1580 (2nd of Nisan): Rabbi Benjamin ben Moses of Lemberg, author Tavnit ha-Bayt passed away

1584: Ivan IV, also known as Ivan the Terrible passed away. Ivan was terrible for the Jews as well as for everybody else. He did all that he could to bar them from Russia, spreading the calumnies of the day, and, when he had the chance, giving them the choice between conversion or a cruel death.

1607: As the Inquisition prepared to take action against “Jorge de Almedia, a Portuguese residing in Mexico, the husband of Dona Lenor de Andrada who was convicted by the Holy Office having kept observed the dead Law of Moses, document were posted on the door of the Cathedral in the next step to bringing him to “justice.”

1609: At Haderslev in Denmark, Christian IV and Anne Catherine of Brandenburg gave birth to Frederick III, who said of the Jews, they “have stolen into Denmark contrary to long-standing custom, [since the days of the Reformation, the Lutheran creed had, according to the laws of Denmark, been compulsory throughout the kingdom], and have dared to traffic with jewels and the like” which led him “to order that no Jew should enter Denmark without a special passport ("Geleitsbrief"), and that those who were already in the country should be heavily fined if they did not leave within fourteen days” passed away today. [Editors’ note: A few years later, however, the tables were turned. Frederick III., being in need of funds for his wars, borrowed money from the Jew Abraham (or Diego) Teixeira de Mattos of Hamburg (known through his relations with the Swedish queen Christina), and gave as security crownlands in Jutland. Teixeira thereupon made such good use of his influence with the Danish king that, as early as Jan. 19, 1657, "the Portuguese professing the Hebrew religion" were permitted to travel everywhere within the kingdom, and to trade and traffic within the limit of the law. Teixeira himself gained little by his transaction with the Danish monarch. As his loan was not returned, he took instead the estates he held as security, selling them later at a great loss. The king acted similarly in his dealings with the De Lima family, who were in possession of the Hald estate from 1660 to 1703.”

1655: Dutch Minister Johannes Megapolensis wrote a letter to the Amsterdam Classis, a ruling body in the Reform Church attacking the Jews who had recently arrived in New Amsterdam.

1669: In Halberstadt which had been annexed Brandenburg as part of the Peace of Westphalia, a mob aided by the military demolished a synagogue in the Joeddenstrasse. The people claimed that the Jews had built the synagogue without permission from the government. For some time after, the hammer that was used to break the door of the synagogue was “preserved in the parish house.”

1722(13th of Adar II, 5532):Ta'anit Esther

1723: Birthdate of Daniel Itzig, the native of Berlin, who became the “Court Jew” of Kings Frederick II the Great and Frederick William II of Prussia.

1762(23rd of Adar): Rabbi Judah ben Eliezer passed away

1767: Myer Myers married Joyce Mears, a cousin of his first wife, Elkalah Myers Cohen of blessed memory. Myers first wife bore him five children and his second wife bore him eight children.

1797: In Nancy (France), Gerson-Jacob Goudchaux and his wife gave birth to Michel Goudchaux, “a French banker and politician who was twice Minister of Finance during the French Second Republic and who as a “firm Republican refused to accept the government of Napoleon III.”

1799: Haifa was captured by Napoleon. This marked “high-water mark” in Napoleon’s conquest of Palestine. The next day French forces reached Acre. It was defended both by British warships and local townspeople including the Jewish inhabitants. By June, Napoleon would give up and return to Egypt.

1817(1stof Nisan, 5577): Rosh Chodesh Nisan

1819: Daniel Joel and Elizabeth Cohen were married today at the New Synagogue.

1831: Birthdate of Joshua Glaser, the Postelburg native who trained as a lawyer before converting to Christianity to advance his career.  At that time, he changed his name to Jules Glaser, the name by which he gained renowned as a jurist and statesman.

1837: Birthdate of Grover Cleveland, the only man to be elected President of the United States, defeated in his bid for re-election and then to be victorious over the man who had beaten him. In 1887, during his first term, Cleveland appointed Oscar Solomon Straus, “the ranking Jew in America,” envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to Turkey. In 1897, during his second term, Cleveland vetoed a bill that contained a literacy test for immigrants. The bill was an attempt to halt immigration from southern and Eastern Europe. If it had passed it would have a detrimental impact on the Jews of Russia, Romania and the Austro-Hungarian Empire seeking to come to America. Cleveland spoke out against the treatment of the Jews at Kishinev and work to raise money for them after the Pogrom in 1903.

1852: In Paris, Augustus Glossop Harris and his wife gave birth to Sir August Harris British theatrical impresario whom “all of London” called “Gus” and who “was of Hebrew family and properly proud of his race.”

1857: In Pittsburgh, PA, Louis and Henrietta Berkowitz gave birth to Henry Berkowitz the educator and reform rabbi.

1858: Birthdate of Marcus M. Marks, the New York businessman and politician who “was President of the Daylight Savings Association,” the brother of illumination engineer Louis B. Marks and the uncle of Johnny Marks “who wrote ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.’”

1859: In Philadelphia, Henry Cohen and Matilda Samuel Cohen gave birth to sculptor Katherine M. Cohen.

1861: It was reported today that the “story floating around the Northern papers” about a rich Jew named Mordecai “declaring himself insolvent, after paying a small per centum to his New-York, Boston and Philadelphia creditors, is a falsehood, cut out of the whole cloth.”

1862: Judah P. Benjamin began serving as Secretary of State for the Confederacy; a position he would hold until the end of the war.

1863: In Opava, Czech Republic, Charlotte and Samuel David Klauber gave birth to Mathilde Bock

1866(2nd of Nisan, 5626): Fifty-four year old Frederick Goldsmid, the MP for Honiton passed away today.

1869: Birthdate of Neville Chamberlain, the British Prime Minister who signed the infamous Munich Agreement with Hitler. He returned to England with the words, “I bring you peace in our times.” Instead there was war within the year. At the same time Chamberlain’s government followed a pro-Arab policy in Eretz Israel which resulted in the infamous White Paper that effectively ended Jewish immigration at the time when the Jews needed a homeland more than ever in their entire history.

1870(15thof Adar II, 5630): Shushan Purim

1874: The Germania Theatre Company will perform tonight at New York’s Terrace Garden Theatre for the benefit of the Ladies’ Hebrew Benevolent Society.

1875(11thof Adar II, 5635): Fast of Esther observed since the 13th of Adar falls on Shabbat.

1877: It was reported today that during 1876, the strength of the British Army averaged 184,669 officers and enlisted men of whom 131 were Moslems, Hindus or Jews. 

1878(13thof Adar, II, 5638): Fast of Esther

1879: “The New Exodus” published today described how the Biblical motif was used in events was used in events leading up to the emancipation of the slaves and how there is the need for “a New Moses” to liberate the former slaves now living under the oppression of what came to be known as Jim Crow.

1879: The defense was scheduled to present its case in attempt to prove that Cohen Davis, an elderly Hebrew glazier, had not committed perjury in the recent trial of Abraham Freeman and Charles Bernstein, two convicted arsonists.

1880: In New York, Dr. J. P. Newman will deliver a lecture at Chickering Hall sponsored by the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

1881: In St. Francisville, Illinois, Samuel and Hannah Morgenstern gave birth to Julian Morgenstern the biblical scholar who was the President of Hebrew Union College.

1881:German born French Orientalist Jules Oppert “was made a member of the Académie des Inscriptions et des Belles-Lettres, succeeding the Egyptologist Mariette.”

1884(21st of Adar, 5644): Basha Ruchama Twersky, the wife of Rabbi Yissachar Dov Rokeach and the mother of Aharon Rokeach, the fourth Rebbe of the Belz Hasidic dynasty passed away today.

1886(11thof Adar II, 5646): Ta’anit Esther

1886(11th of Adar II, 5646): Leopold Zunz, also known as Yom Tov Lippman, a German-born Jewish intellectual passed away at the age of 91. Born in 1794, Zunz came of age in post-Napoleonic Germany when Reform Judaism was gaining power and many Jews were converting to Christianity to gain acceptance in the New Europe. Zunz was a scholar with a strong Jewish education. He became "the principal of a teacher's seminary established by the Jews of Berlin.” As can be seen from his teaching and writings including The Religious Discourses of the Jews Zunz emphasized the importance of prayer and instruction while contending that Judaism was a religion that had constantly been reforming itself. Zunz also believed that for the most part, Judaism and Jewish culture had been at a higher level than the societies that surrounded it.

1886: In Radin, Lithuania, Chaim Yehoshua Heshel Poupko and Bluma Abramowitz gave birth to Eliezer Poupko, the Rabbi sentenced to two years in Siberia for “defying the religious policies of the Soviet Union and husband of Pesha Chaya who, thanks to the intervention of American rabbis came to the United States in 1931 where he led to congregations and raised a family that played a prominent role in the world of American Orthodox Judaism.

1886: Birthdate of German-born Gestalt psychologist Kurt Koffka who moved to the United States

in the 1920’s where he taught at several colleges and universities including Wisconsin and Smith.

1890: Louis Levene represented the Shirtmakers’ Union at the arbitration hearing being held today in an attempt to end the strike.  Most of the workers are Jewish as are many of the contractors on the other side.

1891: A five-story tenement building at the corners of Hester and Allen Streets which is located in a neighborhood crowded with Polish Jewish immigrants burned today.  At the time of the fire eleven Jewish families composed of forty-nine persons were asleep in the building.

1891: The Trustees managing the funds sent to the United States by Baron Hirsch for the aid of Jewish immigrants from Russia and Romania are scheduled to meet today in New York.

1892: Rabbi Stephen S. Wise will deliver a lecture entitled “The Jew, Past, Present and Future” this evening at Temple Israel of Harlem.

1892: Jose S.K. Mitrachee, the Syrian Jewish beggar who shot Rabbi Mendes on March 5th, returned to New York from Philadelphia today in the custody of Detective Sergeants Jacobs and Heidelberg.  The prisoner was immediately taken to the rabbi’s home where Dr. and Mrs. Mendes and their 3 servants positively identified as the attacker.

1893(1stof Nisan. 5653: Rosh Chodesh Nisan and Shabbat HaChodesh

1893(1stof Nisan, 5653): Two Russian Jewish immigrant peddlers – Isaac Rosnewig and Harris Blank murdered 18 year old Jacobs marks on Dutch Mountain in Wyoming County, PA. (At the time of their execution for the crime the two were described as “the only people of the Jewish faith ever executed for murder in this country.”)

1895: New York Mayor Strong appointed Jacob W. Mack, the secretary and treasurer of Nathan Manufacturing Company, to serve as a School Commissioner.

1897(14thof Adar, 5657): Purim

1897(14thof Adar, 5657): Seventy one year old Ignatz Grossman, the native of Trencsen, Hungary who arrived at Brooklyn in 1873 where he officiated at Temple Beth Elohim and Congregation B’nai Abraham passed away today.

1897: A.S. Solomons, the manager of the Baron de Hirsch Fund oversaw today’s Purim Celebration for the students which was held in the auditorium of the Educational Alliance Building.

1897: The feast of Purim was celebrated today with “the formal opening of the new wing of the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews” which was attended by 200 visitors.

1898: In Queens, Joseph Meltsner and Sarah Bach gave birth to Adele Meltsner, the wife of Charles Pores.

1898: In Albuquerque, NM, Dr. William H. Greenburg of London who had responded to an advertisement “for a rabbi in The American Israelite,” held the first service for fifty members of Congregation Albert today.

1899: In a letter to the editor published today “A.C.” takes issue with the statement that Henry Irving plays the part of the Polish Jew in “The Bells.”  Irving actually plays the part of Mathias, the murder of the Polish Jew which “is not quite the same thing.”

1899: It was reported today that “some of the French journals intimate that anti-Semitism is at the bottom of the new movement, which is that no Jew is to be permitted either to adopt a career in art, or, having painted a picture, to exhibit it.”

1899: “The Colored Race and Illiteracy” published today provides a summary of an article by Wallace C. Hamm in The North American Review that includes the notation that “The Russian and Polish Jews are never illiterates.” (This stands in stark contrast of the portrait painted of the Jews of Eastern Europe being semi-literate disease laden parasites)

1899:Edward Breck, who was not Jewish, expressed his displeasure with the way that United States was complying with Russian laws that discriminated against American Jews and praised Julius Goldschdmidt, the U.S Counsel General in Berlin for his protest over the American government’s behavior in this matter.

1903: Herzl begins a trip to Egypt that lasts until April 9.

1903: Birthdate of Louis Gross, the Chicago native who was an outstanding scholar/athlete when he played tackle for the University of Minnesota “Golden Gophers” from 1922 to 1924.

1905: Birthdate of Mollie Parnis. Although she never had any formal education in design, Mollie Parnis became an influential women's fashion designer whose prestigious Seventh Avenue firm provided dresses for first ladies Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower, Lady Bird Johnson, and Patricia Nixon. Parnis was raised on New York's Lower East Side. She started working in fashion at age eighteen, when she was hired as an assistant saleswoman for a wholesale blouse manufacturer. Her ability to tailor and add distinctive finishing touches to blouses for retail customers earned Parnis her first recognition. She moved from the blouse business to a dress house, but in 1933, she opened an independent designer dress firm with her husband, Leon Livingston. Although she could not cut and sew fabric or draw, Parnis's acute eye for detail and perceptive knowledge of what women wanted allowed her to provide the creative vision for the company. Even in the midst of the Great Depression, the Parnis Livingston label was successful. Parnis's designs were said to combine elegance and beauty with form and function, and they were frequently featured in the style pages of magazines such as Harper's Bazaar, Vanity Fair, and Life. After Livingston's death in 1962, Parnis reshaped her company to cater to a new demand for more informal clothes. New labels targeted working-class women and young professionals. She closed the doors of her business in 1984.Throughout her life, Parnis was as dedicated to humanitarian work as she was to fashion. In 1971, she funded a program to clean up New York neighborhoods and establish small parks throughout the city. A similar program for Jerusalem followed two years later. She also contributed scholarships to fashion schools, and created the Livingston Awards, which honor young journalists in memory of Parnis's son. Mollie Parnis died in 1992.

1905: Birthdate of Benny Friedman the native of Cleveland, Ohio known as “the Jewish Johnny Unitas” who played quarterback for the University of Michigan before going to a career as a head coach.

1906: As conditions worsened in Bialystok, two policeman named Rubansky and Syrolevich were killed, probably by anarchists. This was part of the unraveling situation that would lead to a pogrom in June of that year.

1906: Birthdate of Isadore Polier, the native of Aiken, SC who gained fame as civil rights lawyer Shad Polier, the husband of Justine Wise Polier, the daughter of Rabbi Stephen Wise.

1906: A dark day in history since it marked the birth of Adolf Eichmann, the Gestapo officer who contributed so much to the Final Solution. Eichmann is the only person to ever be executed by the state of Israel.

1907: As the peasants of Romania rose up against the landed gentry, the government declared a state of emergency and began a general mobilization of the army.  The revolt was tainted by anti-Semitism because in some parts of the country the Jews collected the rents from the Christian peasants for the Christian landlords.  The Jews, of course, could not own the land.

1907: As the investigation into the graft and corruption surrounding the rebuilding of San Francisco following the earthquake, “all of the Supervisors confessed before a grand jury to "receiving money from Abe Ruef in connection with the Home Telephone, overhead trolley, prize fight monopoly, and gas rates deals.  In exchange, "they were promised complete immunity and would not be forced to resign their offices. The grand jury then returned 65 indictments against Abraham “Abe” Ruef for bribery of the supervisors.

1910(7th of Adar II, 5670): Adolphus Simeon Solomons passed away in Washington, D.C. Born in 1826 John Solomons, a native of London who emigrated to the United States in 1810, Julia, daughter of Simeon Levy, “Solomons was educated in the University of the City of New York, and entered the employ of a firm of wholesale importers of stationery and fancy goods, becoming within two years its head book-keeper and confidential man. At the age of fourteen he had enlisted as a color-guide in the Third Regiment Washington Greys (New..
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March 17

796 BCE (1stof Nisan, 2956): Based on computations using the Bible and archaeology, possible date for the death of Jehoash, King of Judah.

45 BCE:  Julius Caesar defeated the forces of Pompey at the Battle of Munda.  Caesar’s victory put an end to the Pompeian attempt to rule Rome. Considering the way Pompey treated the Jews, Caesar’s victory was the preferable outcome.

180: Antonius Marcus Aurelius Emperor of Romepassed away at the age of 58.  The author of Meditations was known as a wise philosopher-king.  However, he had little use for the Jews.  While traveling in Judea, he described the Jews as "Stinking and tumultuous."  He reportedly expressed a preference for the Teutonic barbarians whom he was fighting on the border between Gaul and Germania.

455: Petronius Maximus becomes emperor of the Western Roman Empire after murdering Valentinian III and forcing the Empress Eudoxia to marry him.  The Empress wrote to Genseric the Vandal asking him to come to Rome to avenge her. According to Theophanes he came and sacked the city and reportedly carried off the treasures from the Second Temple that had been seized by Titus in 70.   

763: Birthdate of Harun al-Rashid, the Abbasid caliph who sent Jewish teachers to France at the request of Charlemagne.

1190: The Crusaders completed the massacre of Jews of York England slaughtering 500 Jews on this particular day.

1398: Today “The city council of Worms enacted an ordinance that every Jew or Jewess over twelve should pay one old tournois in Leibzoll, but not one farthing more.”

1616: In Holland, under the rule of Prince Maurice of Orange, it is decided that each city could decide for itself whether or not to admit Jews. In those towns where they were admitted they would not be required to wear a badge of any sort identifying them as Jews.

1636: Urban VIII issued “Cum allias piae” a Papal Bull that ordered the “Synagogues of the Duchies of Ferarri and Urban, to pay a tax of 10 ecus.”

1654: Alexis Mikhailovich, the second Romanov Czar, issued an edict today instructing “a party of Lithuanian Jews to proceed from Kaluga to Nijni-Novgorod” under the protection of an “escort of twenty sharpshooters.”

1733: “Deborah,” an oratorio by Handel based on Chapters 4 and 5 of the Book of Judges premiered at the King’s Theatre in London.

1749: “Solomon,” an oratorio by Handel based on the Biblical account of the Israelite King had its first performance at the Theatre Royal in London.

1762: The first St. Patrick’s Day Parade is held in New York City.  The parade was organized by Irish soldiers serving in the British Navy.  “Corned beef and cabbage is the traditional meal enjoyed by many on St. Patrick's Day, but only half of it is truly Irish. Cabbage has long been a staple of the Irish diet, but it was traditionally served with Irish bacon, not corned beef. The corned beef was substituted for bacon by Irish immigrants who came to America and who could not afford the real thing i.e. bacon. According to one version of this tale, the Irish immigrants learned about the cheaper alternative, corned beef, from their Jewish neighbors.” Are we to believe that traif bacon gave way to kosher Corned Beef?  Only in America!

1757: Following a dispute with other members of the Bet Din in London, Isaac Nieto wrote a letter today resigning as ab bet din.  Nieto was the son David Nieto and he had served as the Haham of Bevis Marks and as the first Rabbi of the Great Synagogue in Gibraltar. He had been serving as the ab bet din since 1751.

1798: Birthdate of Jacob Ettlinger, the native of Baden who became a leader of Orthodox Judaism and served as Chief Rabbi in Altona from 1836 until his death in 1871

1789: Birthdate of Edmund Kean, the great 19thcentury Shakespearian actor who first gained fame for his portrayal of Shylock.  The portrayal of the Jew from Venice was a difficult role and a career-maker for those few who did it successfully.

1801: In Galicia, Rabbi Shebah ha-Levi and his wife gave birth to Orientalist Simchah Pinksker, the father of Leon Pinsker.

1805: The Italian Republic, a creation of Napoleon, was transformed in the Kingdom of Italy with the French emperor serving as King.  The Jews of Italy benefited from the appearance of the French revolutionary armies. Between 1796 and 1798, they had liberated several ghettos, most notably the Rome Ghetto in 1798.  The Jews will be forced to return to their ghettos with the return of Italian reactionaries but Napoleon would have one last success when he freed the Jews of Florence from their Ghetto in 1808.

1807: Birthdate of Mendel Hess the Chief Rabbi of the Grand Duchy of Weimar (Germany).

1808: Today an imperial edict was issued that “divided the Jews living in French countries into consistories. Brussels (Belgium) was included in the consistory of Crefeld. Since 1794, the French had controlled Belgium.  By the time of the issuance of that edit, this meant Napoleon was the one issuing the orders. On the overthrow of Napoleon, Belgium was united with Holland; and the Jewish community of Brussels became the head of the fourteenth religious district of Holland. After the revolution of 1830 Brussels became the head of the Belgian consistories, and a chief rabbi was nominated.”

1808: The Infamous Decree (decret infame) of Napoleon canceled all debts owed to Jews by those serving in the military or by women if it was signed without the approval of their husbands or parents. It also abolished freedom of trade of the Jews by forcing them to acquire permits (which were almost never given) from the local prefects, and it prevented Jews from settling in the area of the Upper and Lower Rhine.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infamous_Decree

1808: Establishment of the Central Consistory of French Jews.

1811: Birthdate of Karl Gutzkow, the author “Uriel Acosta” which was first performed in Yiddish in 1882 at the Mariinsky Theatre in Odessa starring Abba Schoengold whom Jacob Adler described as "the god of the Yiddish public, the god, indeed, of all who saw him on stage... the handsomest man in the world. Tall. Blue eyes. Golden hair. An Apollo."

1811: The Austrian Emperor denied Simon Edler von Lämel permission to purchase a house in Vienna but “in the same year elevated him to the hereditary nobility” as a reward for his assistance in supplying the Army during the Napoleonic Wars.

1815: In Darmstadt, Reina (Rachel) Oppenheimer and Abraham Oppenheimer gave birth to Myer Oppenheimer.

1818: “A restrict measure, which Napoleon had enacted in 1808, -- to continue in force for ten years only, on his assumption that such a ten years’ term was necessary to enable the Jews to conform to the conclusions of his Sanhedrin to become good citizens of the country of their domicile and to be an alien nation expired” today “by its own limitation.”

1819: Abraham Solomon married Ellen Levy at the New Synagogue today.

1832: Birthdate of Moncure Daniel Conway the Unitarian clergyman and author whose works include The Wandering Jew and Solomon and Solomonic Literature

1836: In Charleston, South Carolina, Isaac and Babetta Dittenhoefer, gave birth to Abram Jess Dittenhoefer. His parents were immigrants from Germany who lived in Baltimore and Charleston before settling in New York where his father became a successful merchant.  A graduate of Columbia Law, young Dittenhoefer would become a practicing attorney and successful judge. Oddly enough, this Jew who was born in the Cradle of the Confederacy would be one of the electors from New York who would cast a vote for Abraham Lincoln in the Electoral College.

1840: Henry Benjamin married Marian Alexander at the Great Synagogue today.

1840: Birthdate of Henri Didon Louis Remy, the Dominican friar who spoke “approvingly of Renan’s closing work, History of the Jews which depicts “Christianity as the flower, masterpiece and glory of Judaism.”

1841: Harris Barnett married Leah Levy at the Great Synagogue today

1848: Eight years before the death of his father Jacob Steinschenider, Moritz Steinschneider “after many difficulties succeeded in becoming a Prussian citizen” in “the same year” that “he was charged with preparation of the catalogue of Hebrew books in the Bodleian Library at Oxford.”

1848: By the time the time that Carl Heinrich Spitzer, a 17 year old Moravian Jew studying at the Vienna Polytechnic who had been the first one shot down by imperial troops two days ago was laid to rest today, Emperor Ferdinand had “had acceded to the students’ demands for a national guard, a freed press and the promise of a constitution.”

1851: Rabbi Sabato Morais arrives in Philadelphia with the expectation of becoming the spiritual leader of Congregation Mikveh Israel.

1852: In Germany, Lazarus Siegel and Zerlin Koch gave birth to Henry Siegel, who married Marie Vaugh Wilde after his first wife Julia Rosenbaum passed away and came to the United States in 1867 and opened a series of progressively more successful department stores starting in Parkersburg, West Virginia and climaxing with purchases of emporiums in Chicago and New York.

1852: In Eubigheim, Lazarus Siegel and Zerlina Koch gave birth to Henry Seigel, the German immigrant who came to United States in 1852 where he established and/or acquired a series of increasingly successful department store including Siegel, Hartsfield & Co., the Siegel Cooper Company, Simpson Crawford Company in New York, and the Schlesinger and Mayer Company in Chicago.

1854: Mr. and Mrs. Moses Ley Maduro Peixotta gave birth to Daniel Levy Maduro Peixotto, a leader in the New York State Militia who died as a result of fever contracted during the Spanish-American War.

1857: Paul Reuter, a Jew by birth who would become one of the first of the modern Press Lords as the founder of Reuters legally became a British subject.  Reuter had already shed the Jewish part of his origins when he converted in November of 1845, a month after he had moved to London.

1859: In Frankfurt, Selig and Clementine Goldschmidt gave birth to their second child Flora.

1861: The Kingdom of Italy is proclaimed. The ghetto walls came tumbling down and the Jews were fully emancipated.  Jews played an active part in the creation of the modern Italian state and they enjoyed a level of social and legal acceptance that was second only to that enjoyed by the Jews of Great Britain.

1862(15th of Adar II, 5622):Shushan Purim

1862: A group of wealthy young men who formed what would be known as the Purim Association held the first Purim Ball in New York City.

1862(15th of Adar II, 5622): Composer Jacques François Fromental Élie Halévy passed away.  Born in 1799, Halévy composed the tragic opera La Juive and the comic opera L'Éclair. These works are his major claim to artistic fame.

1864(9th of Adar II, 5624): Abraham David Meijer, the brother of Jonas Daniel Meijer (the first Jewish lawyer in the Netherlands) passed away today.

1865(19th of Adar, 5625): Seventy-one year old Rabbi Isaac Noah Mannheimer, the native of Copenhagen passed away today in Vienna.

1869: In Baghdad, Heskel Shalma Ezra Shlomo-David, Hakham and Messouda/Massoda/Massouda Shlomo-David gave birth to Sir Sassoon Eskel, who following WW I became Iraq’s finiance minister and who was the father of Rahel Cohen and Meir Eskel

1869: Louis and Bluma Joseph were married today at Cavendish Square.

1870(14th of Adar II, 5630): Purim

1870(14th of Adar): Rabbi Dov Ber ben Isaac Meisels of Cracow, author of Hiddushei Mahardam passed away

1870: Since the Purim balls in New York appear to have lost their popularity, tonight’s Purim celebrations will not consist of any “grand demonstration” but will be limited to some unpretentious entertainments.

1873(18th of Adar, 5633): Seventy-seven year old Joseph Salvador a member of a distinguished French Sephardi family whose mother was Roman Catholic, the author of Paris, Rome, Jerusalem ou la Question religieuse au XIX siècle  who was angered by the anti-Jewish riots in German and was considered a ‘proto-Zionist” passed away today

1874:  In Budapest, Dr. Aaron Wise, the future rabbi of Congregation Baith Israel Anshei Emes in Brooklyn, New York and his wife gave birth to Rabbi Stephen Samuel Wise, the grandson of Rabbi Joseph Hirsch Weiss and Móric Fischer de Farkasházy, the founder of the Herend Porcelain Company.

Rabbi Stephen Samuel Wise declined to accept the pulpit of New York's largest Reform Congregation if it meant he could not speak out in favor of Zionism and he became the President of the Zionist Organization of America.  Wise was one of several Jews who attended the Paris Peace Conference at the end of World War I.  In 1922, Wise founded the Jewish Institute of Religion "in an attempt at sectarian non-partisanship, so that its graduates might serve any one of the [Jewish] religious groupings" in the United States.

1876: Birthdate of New York City native Samuel Levy, the lawyer,the New York Board of Education and Manhattan Borough President who married Sadie Vesell with whom he had one son Lawrence, the husband of Betha Rothafel, “the daughter of theatrical impresario and entrepreneur Samuel Roxy Rothafel.

1879: In Paris, Noémie and Adolphe Bloch gave birth to Jules André Albert Bloch

1877: According to a report published today in The Times of London the “Jews’ Deaf and Dumb Home” “was founded in 1863 by Baroness Mayer de Rothschild as a school where resident Jewish children could learn to speak.”

1878: “Ethical Culture” which was published today describes the growth of The Society for Ethical Culture which was founded only two years before by Felix Adler.  The author gives due consideration to Adler’s Jewish origins and the effect that has had in creating the increasingly popular movement.

1878: The Jewish owner of the coffee and cake saloon at number 7 Fulton Street failed in his effort to get Justice Murray to find that his employee was not guilty of violating the city’s ordinance against throwing oyster shells, after shucking them, into the street. 

1878: The annual Purim reception at the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews began this morning at 11 o’clock.  Due to the inclement weather, the turnout was smaller than normal.  The reception ended at 6 in the evening.

1878: Cohen Davis, an elderly glazier, was tried for perjury today in the General Sessions Court.  The prosecutor charged that he had lied under oath during the trial of Abraham Freeman and Charles Freeman who have been convicted of arson in the first degree. 

1880: It was reported today that the annual ball sponsored by the Purim Association had raised $18,585.80 for the New York’s Mt. Sinai Hosptial.

1880: It was reported today that George Kessler is among those selling tickets the Concord Society’s first grand annual charity ball which is a benefit for the Young Ladies’ Charitable which is an adjunct of the United Hebrew Charities.

1882: “Justice Steckler Expelled” published today described the decision to expel Alfred Steckler and some of his associates from the Tenth Assembly District Republican Association.  Steckler and his associates were not expelled because they were Jewish but because they had failed to support the Republican candidate.

1884: Birthdate of Dr. Nahum Nir, the native of Warsaw who made Aliyah in 1925 and was one of the signatories of the Israeli Declaration of Independence.

1884(20th of Adar, 5644): Benjamin Gratz passed away in Lexington, KY.  Part of the famous Gratz family, he was born in Philadelphia in 1792.  After serving in the Army during the War of 1812 he moved to Kentucky where he practiced law and served as trustee of Transylvania University.

1886(10th of Adar II, 5646): Ninety-one year old Leopold Zunz also known—"Yom Tov Lipmann Tzuntz" passed away. Born in 1794, “he was a German Reform rabbi and writer, the founder of what has been termed the "Science of Judaism" (Wissenschaft des Judentums), the critical investigation of Jewish literature, hymnology and ritual.”

1888: In Yemen, Bohemian born linguist Eduard Glaser began his third journey from Sanaa to Ma’rib

1889(14th of Adar II, 5649): Purim

1892(18th of Adar, 5652): Fifty-seven year old Moravian native Max Srakosch, “an impresario and agent” who was the brother of Maurice Strakosch passed away today in New York.

1892: It was reported today that Rabbi Stephen S. Wise will be addressing the congregants at Temple Israel in Harlem.

1892: In Seattle, WA, founding of the Ladies’ Hebrew Benevolent Society which met on the first Wednesday of each month and whose members included Ida Davis who served as the society’s secretary.

1893: “Russia’s Securities May Suffer” published today described an appeal made by the London Russo-Jewish Committee that has been “sent to every Jewish banker, bank director, bank manager, stock broker, and “agent de change” in Europe calling on them” to boycott Russian loans and Russian financial transactions in general. “The appeal is in retaliation” for the continued severe treatment of the Russian Jews by the Czar

1894: Moritz Kepes, a Jewish saloon owner, was beaten up today by John Fuchs and his son who owned a nearby saloon.

1894: A fire broke out today in a tenement house on Jefferson Street this morning that is owned by Abraham Doworsky and is occupied by Russian Jews.  Some of the tenants told Doworsky that they would be starting a newspaper in the building’s basement, but the fire exposed the fact that they were operating an illegal still.

1894: “The Germans and their Fatherland” published today provides a detailed review Germany and the Germans by William Harbutt in which the author devotes one chapter to the anti-Semitic party and another chapter the criminal activities in which Jews engage.  The author does raise and does not answer the question “What do the anti-Semites propose to do with the Jews and what would do without them

1894: The United Hebrew Charities reported today that between October 1, 1893 to March 1, 1894 that they had over 18,000 applicants for assistance.  During those five months, the charity had spent over $103,000 for clothing, medicine burials, coal and operating the industrial schools.  For the same period a year ago, they had spent a little more than $46,000 which is indicative of the losses caused by the depression that began in 1893.

1895: Birthdate of Shemp Howard.  Born Samuel Horwitz in Brooklyn, New York, this comedic star gained fame as one of the Three Stooges and for his role in “The Bank Dick.”

1897(13thof Adar II, 5657): Ta’anit Esther; erev Purim

1897: Birthdate of Charles Levine, the son of Massachusetts scrap metal dealer, who was a pioneer in the field of aviation.  A contemporary of Lindbergh, he was on the second plane that flew from America across the Atlantic.  Unlike Lindbergh who was heading for Paris, Levine was trying to make Berlin.  Although he had to land one hundred miles short of his distance, he had actually out-distanced the Lone Eagle.

1897: Samuel Simon Leibowitz arrived in America with his parents from Romania.  Born in 1893, he would become a famous defense attorney and New York Judge.  He is best known as attorney who took the lead in defending the Scottsboro Boys.

1898:”The Baron De Hirsch Fund” published today described the efforts to build “model tenements” and erect “suburban homes” to relieve the overcrowding on the Lower East Side.  Some of the money had already been used to purchase 12 lots across the Harlem River where “model tenements” will be constructed. These efforts are not to be confused with other efforts financed by the late Baron Hirsch and his widow to develop “agricultural colonies” including the one at Woodbine, NJ.

1899: “Jewish Philanthropy” published today described Simon Wolf’s view of Jewish generosity.  According to him, “We take care of our people and we help others.”  “In the largest cities in the United States” Jews have collected $64,000,000 for philanthropic purposes, thanks in no small measure to the efforts of such mean as Oscar Nathan, Isidor Straus and Adolphus S. Solomon.

1899: On Chicago’s South Side, Rabbi Isaac M. Wise dedicated the sanctuary of The Reform Congregation of Isaiah Temple which had been designed by Dankmar Adler.

1900: Birthdate of American film composer Alfred Newman, a major Jewish-American composer of music for films. He received 45 Academy Award nominations (a record in the music categories, now shared with John Williams), winning 9 times; in 1940 he was nominated for 4 different films. He also composed the familiar fanfare which accompanies the studio logo for 20th Century Fox, where he headed the music department. He was active until the end of his life, scoring Airport shortly before his death. Between 1930 and 1970, he wrote music for over 200 films of every imaginable type, including a score for the newsreel made from the World War II footage of the Battle of Midway

1901: In Philadelphia, PA, a federation of Jewish charities including the Jewish Hospital Association, Jewish Foster Home, Society of United Hebrew Charities, Hebrew Education Society, Orphans' Guardians, Jewish Maternity Association, Jewish Immigration Society, Young Women's Union, and Hebrew Sunday-School Society was formed today with Jacob Gimbel as President

1902: Herzl is authorized to obtain three letters of credit, each for a million francs, from banks in Paris, Berlin and London. The funds are to be deposited in Turkish banks.  Several members of the Actions Committee including Avraham Menachem Mendel Ussishkin are opposed to the plan. Ussishkin and Herzl were both fervent Zionists but they had different views as to the goal of establishing a Jewish home in Eretz Israel could be accomplished. Born in 1863 in Russia, Ussishkin would become an early Zionist leader and first President of the Jewish Nation Fund or JNF. In his youth, he became an enthusiastic reader of the works of contemporary Hebrew writers in his teens, and from then on the revival of the Hebrew language was one of the main goals of his life work. Like many other early Hibbat Zion members, he was shocked by the Russian pogroms of 1881, which emphasized to him the necessity for Jewish emigration. Ussishkin then began working actively for several..
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March 16
597 BCE (2ndAdar): On the secular calendar, according to certain archaeological calculations, the first conquest of Jerusalem by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar occurred. In the Bible, the event is recorded in 2 Kings 24:1ff. and in 2 Chronicles 36:5-8. It is also implied in the early chapters of Jeremiah and Ezekiel.

37: Caligula becomes Roman Emperor after the death of his great uncle, Tiberius.  Caligula was a challenge to all those he ruled, including the Jews, because he was “crazy.” Among other things, he appointed his favorite horse to the position of Consul.  He did present a special problem for Jews because he believed he was a god and expected to be worshipped by his subjects.  Fortunately, he never succeeded in having his golden image installed in the Temple of Jerusalem.  After a bizarre meeting with a delegation of Jews from Alexander that included the famous Philo, Caligula said of the Jews, “They’re not so bad after all.  They’re just a poor, stupid people unable to believe in my divinity”

455: Valentinian III, Western Roman Emperor passed away. During his reign, the position of Jews continued to worsen. Under one imperial decree, Jews were excluded from government service and were prohibited from practicing law. Another decree made it possible for the children of Jews who converted to Christianity to inherit the property of their Jewish parents. 

1021: The first documentary reference to Jews living in Cologne after 331 occurs during the time of Archbishop Heribert of Cologne who passed away today.

1190: On the Sabbath eve before Passover ("Shabbat Hagadol") in York, England, a group made up of clergy, barons indebted to the Jews, and crusaders waiting to follow Richard, set Jewish houses on fire and stole all their valuables. The Jews under Josce, a prominent Jew of York, and their Rabbi, Yom Tov of Joigny (a contemporary of Rabbenu Tam and author of the Yom Kippur Hymn "Omnam Ken"), fled to the castle. Richard Malebys (a noble who owed large sums to Jewish moneylenders) commanded the attackers. For 6 days the Jews held out. A monk who came each morning to celebrate mass and inflame the crowd was killed by a stone thrown from the tower. Facing the choice of baptism or death, most chose death. (Josce killed his wife and two children, and was in turn killed by the Rabbi). The vast majority killed themselves after destroying their belongings. Josce was the last to die. The few who remained opened the gate and requested baptism. They were massacred anyway. Over 150 Jews died.

1421: Chomutov, a Czech city which was declared “Judenrein” a week before the occupation by Germany in 1938 and was the home to the Seligman family “was sack and burned” today by the Taborites, a sect of Catholic heretics.

1523: Birthdate of Antoine Rodolphe Chevaillier, the French born English Hebraist who learned the language from Francis Vatablus and who tutored Elizabeth I in the Biblical tongue while producing translations of several books in both the New and Old Testaments.

1547: François Vatable who got the chair of Hebrew at what “became known as the Collège de France” where “he procured Hebrew editions of the Bible for scholarly use” and whose lectures were attended by Parisian Jews passed away today.

1711(25thof Adar, 5471): Isaac Spira, the son of Eliezer Spira and the father of Nathan Spria, passed away leaving behind a text entitled Elef ha-Magen.

1716: Birthdate of Pehr Kalm, the Swedish-Finnish explorer who visited North America in 1740’s and described “the Jews of New York” as having “formed a considerable portion of the population”  having “stores and fine houses and ships and flourishing synagogue” while enjoying “all the privileges of the other citizens.”

1722: The new "Aeltesten-reglement" (Constitution of the Jewish Community) was issued today in Prussia. It was intended to do away with the evils that had become apparent in the administration of the community, and which, in order to be brought home more thoroughly, was to be read every year in the synagogue. Under this constitution the administration consisted of two permanent chief elders, five elders, four treasurers, and four superintendents of the poor, and assistants; new officers were to be elected every three years by seven men chosen by lot from among the community. The committee was to meet every week in the room of the elders, and to keep the minutes of their proceedings; resolutions, passed by them, becoming law by a majority vote. The exclusion of a member of the community from the Passover was made dependent on the unanimous vote of the committee; the ban could be pronounced only with the consent of the rabbi; and both of these measures were to be subject to ratification by the Jews' commission. The elders were held responsible with their own money for the proper collection of the taxes, but could proceed against delinquent payers. Every year the entire board had to report to a committee of five chosen by the community. The college of rabbis was to consist of a chief rabbi, a vice rabbi and two or three assessors. Other taxes were soon added to the existing ones; e.g., on pawnshops, and calendar money for the Royal Society of Science, and marriage licenses. The income from the last was paid into the treasury from which enlisted men received their pay, and its amount (4,800 thalers a year) soon became a permanent tax upon the whole community.

1743: The New-York Weekly Journal reported that a Jewish funeral procession in New York was attacked by a mob. According to "one learned Christian" witness to it, the mob had, "insulted the dead in such a vile manner that to mention all would shock a human ear."

1751: Birthdate of James Madison author of the Federalist Papers and 4th President of the United States.  Madison was also the President during the War of 1812.  He was the first President to appoint a Jew to a diplomatic post.  “In 1813, President Madison appointed Mordecai Manuel Noah as Consul to Tunis in the Barbary States, where he obtained the release of Americans who had been captured and sold into slavery by the Barbary pirates. It was a difficult task requiring considerable adroitness, but he spent more than his allotment for the purposes and his commission was revoked, the letter of recall affirming that his religion was deemed to disqualify him for the post…In time, however, he got a clean bill of health in the conduct of his mission and the sums he advanced in performing it were reimbursed.”  While Noah’s name is known but a handful today, he was considered to be “the most conspicuous figure in the American Jewish community in the period between the War of 1812 and the Mexican War (1846).” When he returned from Tunis, Noah became a power in New York politics.  At one point he was elected High Sheriff of New York.  One angry citizen complained about Noah saying “What a pity that Christians are to be hung by a Jew.”  Noah replied, “What a pity that Christians should have to be hung.” 

1789: Benvenida de Isaac Solis, the daughter of Isaac Henriques Henriques Valentine and Simha Mandil and Solomon da Solis gave birth to David Solis.

1794: Birthdate of “Rabbi Samuel Bondi one of the founders of the orthodox congregation of Mayence and the progenitor of the largest branch of the Bondi family.”

1796: Robert Reuben married Esther Solomons at the Great Synagogue today.

1802: The United States Military Academy West Point is established.  According to recent figures, there are 85 Jewish Cadets among the 4.200 members of the Corps of Cadets.  There is an accredited Hillel Chapter at West Point and a Jewish Chaplain.  “The West Point Jewish community provides a warm, supportive, nondenominational family to all West Point Jewish cadets and cadet friends. Family night services are very popular. The choir practices once per week and travels several times per semester to other university Hillel Houses and community functions for relaxed overnight trips. The community celebrates nearly all Jewish holidays and the West Point Hillel sponsors parties, retreats and service field trips.” The completion of the Jewish Chapel in 1984 culminated a twenty year undertaking. The organization responsible for the project was the West Point Jewish Chapel Fund a private, non-profit civilian organization. This group raised more than 7.5 million dollars to erect and furnish the facility. In 1986 the Jewish Chapel was deeded to the Academy. Led by a military chaplain, the congregation serves the needs of various branches of Judaism represented in the Armed Forces. In close connection with the Jewish Welfare Board worship resources are designed to meet the broad spectrum of our faith. The Chapel contains an extensive Judaica collection, a fine library, and special exhibits. Sabbath services are held every Friday evening during the academic year at 7:00 p.m.” 

1806: Israel Jacobs married Elizabeth Abrahams at the Great Synagogue today.

1813(14th of Adar II, 5573): As Americans fight the British  and the Canadians fight what is known in the United States as the War of 1812, Jews on both sides observe Purim.

1818: Birthdate of Germain Sée the native of Ribeauvillé who graduated from the Sorbonne in 1846 after which he became a leading Parisian physician.

1828: In Grebenstein, Germany Meyer (Meier) Goldschmidt and Lea Goldschmidt (Katzenstein) gave birth to Selig Meier Goldschmidt.

1832(14th of Adar II, 5592): Purim

1843: In Moravia, Jakob Brüll and his wife gave birth to “rabbi and scholar” Nehemiah Brüll

1855: Bates College in Lewiston, Maine is founded. According to recent figures, this small liberal arts college has 150 Jewish students among its 1,700 student body.  The school has a Hillel Chapter.  The environment on campus is described as follows. “Bates is very supportive of the Jewish Community. Jewish students gather weekly for Shabbat services and dinner at the Multicultural Center. Films, lectures, holidays, and parties are frequent. Highlights include Sukkah Building and campout, Tu B`Shvat Seder, and Parent's Weekend Bagel Brunch. Bates has a Klezmer Band, Gefilte Dog, and speakers are brought to campus for forums and discussions often. Hillel also presents a visiting Rabbi retreat. Programs are also held with students at Colby and Bowdoin. Bates students volunteer at the local synagogue, Temple Shalom.”

1859: Emperor Alexander II granted Jewish scholars, wholesale merchants and manufacturers the right to live outside of the Pale

1860: Based on reports from the Halifax Sun, “an extraordinary event in the history of the German Jews has just taken place. In the free City of Hamburg, where a Jew, ten years ago, was not even eligible for a night constable, a Jew, by the free suffrages of the citizens, has lately been chosen a chief magistrate, next in station to the highest dignity in that Republic. The gentleman elected is a distinguished juris-consult and writer, Dr. Gabriel Reisser who was Vice-President of the German Parliament that sat at Frankfort in 1848.” Born in 1806, Gabriel Riesser “was the first Jewish judge in Germany and an advocate of the emancipation of the Jews in Germany.”

1862: Birthdate of Ruben ben Mordecai Brainin the native of Belarus who gained fame as Reuben Brainin (Some sources show March 15, 1862 as his birthdate)

1864: In Baltimore, MD, ”Elkan Bamberger, who had emigrated from Bavaria in 1840, and Theresa (Hutzler) Bamberger, who was heir to a large Baltimore department store” gave birth to Caroline “Carrie” Bamberger, the fifth of their six children who became Caroline Frank when she married Louis Frank and Caroline Frank Fuld when she married Felix Fuld the name under which became a noted philanthropist  who provide the initial endowment of five million dollars for “what became the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton.”https://www.jta.org/1929/01/23/archive/funeral-rites-for-felix-fuld-marked-by-simplicity

1866(29th of Adar): Rabbi Solomon Ha-Kohen of Radomsko, author of Tiferet Shelomo passed away.

1868: “Affairs In England” published today described the reaction to Benjamin Disraeli who was a member of the Conservative or Tory Party, to being selected to serve as Prime Minister.  Generally speaking, the “Radical press” has congratulated Disraeli on the appointment and wish him well in his new position. The “Conservative press” has responded coldly, showing distinct dissatisfaction with Disraeli’s appointment.  For them, Disraeli’s appointment is not a triumph for the Tories but “a blow to their prejudices and principles.”  Instead of being led by Duke or an Earl, the party is now being led by a commoner who “is not an Englishman by descent” but rather by a man “whose grandfather was a Jew of Venice, whose father was a man of letters” and who himself was the editor of a newspaper.

1872: Birthdate of  Philip King, the native of Washington, DC, who played quarterback for Princeton before going on a coaching career at the University of Wisconsin and Georgetown University.

1872: Emily Catherine and Josiah Wedgwood gave birth to Josiah Clement Wedgwood the British political leader.  During the 1930’s Wedgwood took the politically unpopular positions of opposing the appeasement of Hitler and the limitations on Jewish settlement in Palestine that climaxed with the White Paper of 1939. Although he passed away in 1943, the Jewish people honored his memory by naming several things in his honor including Moshav, an INS destroyer and streets in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Haifa.

1873(18th of Adar, 5633): Seventy-seven year old Joseph Salvador a member of a distinguished French Sephardi family whose mother was Roman Catholic, the author of Paris, Rome, Jerusalem ou la Question religieuse au XIX siècle  who was angered by the anti-Jewish riots in German and was considered a ‘proto-Zionist” passed away today.

1874: It was reported today that the Germania Theatre Company will be performing at the Terrace Garden Theatre in two days for the benefit of the Ladies’ Hebrew Benevolent Society

1875: Mayor Wickham Chamberlain Tappan was among the dignitaries who attended tonight’s charity ball organized by the Purim Association. The event raised $13,000 for the various Hebrew charities in New York City.

1876” Birthdate Bolshevik revolutionary and Soviet official Solomon Lozovsky, who would like many others, find out that Russian anti-Semitism was stronger the Communist brotherhood when he was executed by Stalin in 1952 along with other members of the Jewish Ant-Fascist Committee.

1878: On Shabbat Zachor, rabbis at several synagogues addressed the appeal that has been issued by the Board of Delegates of American Israelites to raise funds to aid their suffering co-religionists trapped in war torn Eastern Europe and parts of the Ottoman Empire.  They did not make a direct appeal for funds. Instead the urged them to respond to the appeal that has been sent to all congregations by the Executive committee of the Central Relief Committee whose members include Meyer S. Isaacs, Moritz Ellinger, Jacob H. Schiff, Leonard Lewisohn and Hyman Blum

1879: “Mendelssohn and Lessing” traced the improvement in the situation of the Jews of Germany reminding readers that when these two met, “the country where the Hebrew race has since attained the highest honors – where a galaxy of Jewish names, Heine, Borne, Rahel figure among the glories of national distinction – the Jew was then looked on like a spotted leper, against whom were shut the doors not merely of the aristocracy and of fashion, but actually of all public schools and public office” and were excluded “from social position and civic right” in a manner worse than now found in Romania.

1882: The Tenth Assembly District Republican Association met tonight to decide if Civil Justice Alfred Steckler, Charles Steckler, and Julius Harburger should be expelled because they had supported Steckler over the association’s chosen candidate. (In the 19thcentury the majority of Jews voted Republican)

1883: Sir George Jessel, who was fighting a variety of chronic illnesses, sat as the Master of Rolls for the last time.  He was the first Jew to hold this important judicial position.

1885: Birthdate of Sydney Chaplin, half-brother of Charlie Chaplin

1887(20th of Adar, 5647): Eighty-seven year old Joseph Ritter Von Wertheimer whose good works included the founding of the first kindergarten in Vienna, the founding of a Jewish children’s school in the same city in 1834 and the establishment of the Society for the Education of Jewish Orphans in 1860 while fighting for the full emancipation of the Jews, passed away today.

1889(13th of Adar II, 5649): Shabbat Zachor; erev Purim

1889(13th of Adar II, 5649): Sixty-four year old Dr. Alfred Edersheim the Austrian born Jew who would later convert to Christianity passed away today. He was made an A.M. at Oxford in 1881 where he lectured on Biblical topics and wrote Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah.

1890: The Mageburg Israelitishes Wochenblat reported “that a petition is in circulation among the rabbis of Europe and America begging the Pope to end the calumny that the Jews use human blood in religious sacrifice by ordering a formal denial throughout the Catholic churches.”

1890: Birthdate of Solomon Mikhoels, Soviet actor and chairman of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee.Solomon Mikhoels was a Soviet Jewish actor and director in Yiddish theater and the chairman of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. Born Shlioma Vovsi in Dvinsk (now Daugavpils), Latvia, Mikhoels studied law in Saint Petersburg, but left school in 1918 to join Alexander Granovsky,s Jewish Theater Workshop, which was attempting to create a national Jewish theater in Russia based on the Yiddish language. Two years later, in 1920, the workshop moved to Moscow, where it established the Moscow State Jewish Theater. This was in keeping with Lenin's policy on nationalities, which encouraged them to pursue and develop their own cultures under the aegis of the Soviet state. Mikhoels, who showed outstanding talent, was the company's leading actor and, as of 1928, its director. He played in several memorable roles, including Tevye in an adaptation of Sholom Aleichem's comic short stories about Tevye the Milkman(which were adapted for an American audience as Fiddler on the Roof) as well as in many original works, such as Bar Kochba, and translations. Perhaps his most noted role was as King Lear in a Yiddish translation of the play by William Shakespeare. These plays were ostensibly supportive of the Soviet state, however, closer readings suggest that they actually contained veiled critiques of Stalin's regime. It is noteworthy that two of the Shakespearean plays put on by the theater company were King Lear and Richard III, both studies in tyranny. It is now believed that the Ukrainian director Les Kurbas contributed to the original King Lear production after he was ousted from his Berezil theater in 1934. He seems to have had a lasting influence on Mikhoel's directing style. By the mid-1930s, Mikhoels' career was threatened because of his association with other leading intelligentsia, who were victims of Stalin's purges, notably author Isaac Babel. Mikhoels actively supported Stalin against Hitler, and in 1942, he was made chairman of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee. In this capacity, he travelled around the world, meeting with Jewish communities to encourage them to support the Soviet Union in its war against Nazi Germany. While this was useful to Stalin during World War II, after the war, Stalin opposed contacts between Soviet Jews and Jewish communities in non-Communist countries, which he deemed as "bourgeoisie." The Jewish State Theater was closed and the members of the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee were arrested - all except for two were eventually executed in the purges shortly before Stalin's death. Mikhoels was the most visible of the intellectual Jewish leadership, and a show trial would have cast aspersions on Stalin's rule. Such claims lead most people to a suggestion that Stalin had him assassinated in Minsk in January of 1948 masking his death as a car crash, and Mikhoels received a state funeral. According to documents unearthed by the historian Gennady Kostyrchenko, the organizers of the assassination were L.M. Tsanava and S. Ogoltsov, and the "direct" murderers were Lebedev, Kruglov and Shubnikov. Mikhoels' brother Miron Vovsi was Stalin's personal physician. He was arrested during the Doctors' plot affair but released after Stalin's death in 1953, as was his son-in-law, the composer Mieczyslaw Weinberg.

1892: Based on information that first appeared in the Hartford Courant and the New Haven Evening Post it was reported today that when he is not lecturing on military topics Professor Charles Totten of Yale, devotes his time to Biblical work including study of the Hebrew Prophets. Furthermore, this early supporter of Jewish settlement in Palestine says in the preface to the published copy of his Yale Military Lectures that “the whole series was written in the spirit of Anglo-Saxon identity with the ten lost tribes of Israel.”

1892: In Albany, GA, Julia and Morris Weslosky gave birth to their daughter Blanche who became Blanche Adler when she married Ben Adler

1892: “A Russian Banker Fails” published described the impact of the failure of the Russian-Jewish banker J.E. Guenzburg. The firm dates back to the Crimean War when Guenzburg’s father supplied “vast quantities of spirits to the Russian Army.  While Guzenburg currently has extensive holdings in lands and mines, his financial setbacks are due in no small part to “the expulsion of the Jews who were employed in the firm’s immense sugar factories” and the hostility of the current government towards its Jewish citizens.

1893: “A Contented Colony” published today described conditions “in the Jewish colony at Chesterfield” which is eight miles from New London, CN. Contrary to previously published reports the colonists are not destitute and that most of the 32 families are “comparatively contended people” The colony already has 180 cows which will provide milk for the new creamery; something that will produce “considerable revenue.” The colony is supported by the Baron Hirsch Fund.

1895: Lt. Moses G. Zalinski who had been serving with U.S. Army artillery units since 1885 transferred from the 4th Artillery to the 2nd Artillery

1897: It was reported today that “a recent and clever English novel represents the rector of a struggling parish as having a written a book assailing the moral character of the Hebrew patriarchs.” The purpose of the novel is to acquaint the reader with “higher Biblical criticism” and demonstrate “that Moses did not write the Pentateuch.”

1898: Oscar S. Straus said today that the “a large sum of money that had recently” been received by the Trustees of the Baron de Hirsch funds “was not a new gift “but the second installment of $1,000,000 which the Baroness had promised him last year” to help “the Jews in the crowded districts of New York.”

1898: The recital of Aristide Franceschetti in the Carbon Studio on West Sixteenth Street began “with an evening prayer,’Vegna reba’ in the Hebrew text, which preserved by tradition in the synagogue of Leghorn.”

1898: At today’s meeting of the School Board for the Boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx, the commissioners voted 11 to 5 to set aside..
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March 15

457 BCE (12th of Nisan, 3303): Ezra and his followers departed from the River Ahava on their way to Jerusalem.

44 BCE: Julius Caesar was assassinated in the Roman Senate. The Jews supported Caesar in his fight for power against Crassus and Pompey. Pompey had seized Jerusalem, violated the Holy of Holies and shipped thousands of Judeans off to the slave markets. Eight years later, Crassus came to Jerusalem and stole the Temple Treasury. As a reward for Jewish support, Caesar returned the port of Jaffa to Judean control. He instituted a more humane tax rate that took into account the Sabbatical Year. He allowed the walls of Jerusalem to be rebuilt and he allowed Jewish communities in the Italian peninsula, including Rome itself, to "organize and thrive."

351: Constantius II elevates his cousin Gallus to Caesar, and puts him in charge of the Eastern part of the Roman Empire. During his rule, Gallus had to deal with a Jewish rebellion in Judea/Palestine. The rebellion, possibly started before Gallus' elevation to Caesar, was crushed by Gallus' general, Ursicinus, who ordered all the rebels slain.

1391: “A Jew hating monk” is responsible for starting anti-Jewish riots in Seville, Spain. These riots marked the start of a wave of violence throughout Spain and Portugal which claimed 50,000 lives within less than a year. Many Jews escaped death by converting to Christianity. This marked the emergence of Marranos who were said to number 200,000.

1545: Opening session of the Council of Trent. At the Council of Trent in the 16th century, the Roman Church stated as a theological principle that all men share the responsibility for the Passion—and that Christians bear a particular burden. "In this guilt [for the death of Jesus] are involved all those who fall frequently into sin..." read the catechism of the council.” This guilt seems more enormous in us than in the Jews since, if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory; while we, on the contrary, professing to know him, yet denying him by our actions, seem in some sort to lay violent hands on him."

1672: Charles II of England issues the Royal Declaration of Indulgence. This declaration was part of the jockeying for power between Roman Catholics, Anglicans and non-Anglican Protestants. Religious rights for Jews were not a part of this measure. Oliver Cromwell, the Protestant civil ruler who temporarily replaced the Stuarts allowed the Jews to re-enter England. Charles II continued his policy and actually expanded the rights and protection for the growing Jewish population. Charles II’s, his successor King James II and the last Catholic King of England further expanded the royal protection of the Jews. Both monarchs appreciated the financial support they received from Jewish bankers. By the time William and Mary had replaced James on the English throne, Jews were too well established in England to ever again be candidates for expulsion and exile.

1773: The South Carolina Gazette reported that Moses Lindo purchased a stone which he believed to be a topaz of immense size, and that he sent it to London by the Right Hon. Lord Charles Greville Montague to be presented to the Queen of England.” Lindo was a native of England who settled in South Carolina where he prospered in the trade of indigo.

1776: South Carolina becomes the first American colony to declare its independence from Great Britain and set up its own government. The Jews played an active role in the political affairs of South Carolina from its earliest days. As early as 1702 they were voting in the colony’s general elections. Francis Salvador began serving in the Provincial Congress in the year before the Palmetto State declared her independence

1795: Birthdate of Samuel Moses Marx, the son of a Jewish doctor in Halle who, when baptized in 1819, changed his name to Adolf Bernhard Marx who gained fame as a German composer and critic.

1800: Birthdate of Joseph Wetheimer, who joined his father’s business in 1821 and who was “the founder of Jewish Alliance in Vienna.

1801: Birthdate of Joseph Levin Saalschütz, the native of Konigsberg who was the first Jew to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Konigsberg.

1809: Philip Lazarus married Amelia Barnes today at the Great Synagogue.

1817: Birthdate of Samuel Naumbourg, the native of Bavaria who served as Chazzan at Besancon and choir director at a Strasburg synagogue before becoming the leader “of synagogue of the Rue Notre-Dame de Nazareth at Paris, where he became professor of liturgical music at the Séminaire Israélite” in 1845.

1820: Just a year after Rebecca Gratz established the country's first Female Hebrew Benevolent Society in Philadelphia, Richa Levy led a group of women that established a Female Hebrew Benevolent Society at New York's Shearith Israel congregation. At that time, Shearith Israel was the only synagogue in New York City.

1820: The King of Saxony granted “Jewish tradesman” Joseph Friedländer permission to remain at Bautzen.

1820: Maine becomes the 23rd state to join the Union. Today Maine has a small but active Jewish population. There are ten congregations in the state. There are Hillel chapters at the University of Maine, Colby, Bates and Bowdoin. Statewide organizations include the Jewish Community Council of Bangor, Main, the Holocaust Human Rights Center of Main, The Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine and the Maine Jewish Film Festival. The mission of the Maine Jewish Film Festival is to “provide a forum for the presentation of films to enrich, educate and entertain a diverse community about the Jewish experience.” Since 1998, we have fulfilled this mission by presenting over 145 films about all facets of Jewish life and culture to nearly 17,500 people. Our annual Festival takes place over nine days in mid-March, and each year we bring a rich selection of films to Maine that otherwise wouldn’t get seen by audiences anywhere else in the state or even Northern New England. The Festival serves filmgoers of all ages and backgrounds, both Jews and non-Jews alike. Maine is one of the smallest cities in the United States to host an independent Jewish film festival and each successive year we attract increasing numbers of attendees (over 3,000 in 2006).

1827: The University of Toronto is chartered. The first Jewish community did not develop in Toronto until the 1840’s. Today the Toronto University has 3,000 Jewish students among its 40,000 undergraduates and 500 Jewish students among its 10,000 graduate students. The University offers approximately 35 courses in Jewish Studies and a minor in Jewish studies. The Hillel chapter is located at the Wolfond Center for Jewish Life.

1830: Birthdate of Paul Johann Ludwig von Heyse, the first Jew to win the Nobel Prize for Literature

1839: In Württemberg, Germany, Bernhard Frankfurter, the son of Moses Levi Frankfurter and Mirjam Landauer, and his wife Esther Frank gave birth to Henriette Emma Frankfurter

1840: Ephraim Alex married Catherine Jones today the Great Synagogue.

1849: Birthdate of Emanuel Rich, who with his brother Morris, founded Rich’s Department Store.

1848: Birthdate of Ignace Ephrussi, the native of Odessa, who was a member of a family of famous Jewish bankers that included his brother Charles.  The family moved their operations from Odessa to Paris and Vienna.

1848: Birthdate of Toby Edward Rosenthal, the native of New Have CT, whose family moved to San Francisco in 1855 where he began his art studies which led him to pursue a career as painter whose worked include “Morning Prayers In Bach’s Family” which was purchased by the government of Saxony and hung at the museum in Leipzig.

1851: Birthdate of Hungarian attorney and Diet Member, Arthur Jellinek.

1854(15thof Adar, 5614): Shushan Purim

1855: Birthdate of Bohemian native Eduard Glaser, a ground breaking Arabist and archeologist.

1855: Pauline Koch and Hermann Einstein the parents of Albert Einstein gave birth to their youngest child Friederike, nicknamed “Rika.”

1856: Following the creation of the Company Ports of Marseille, Franco-Jewish financier Jules Mires formed a partnership with Talabot Paulin to rebuild the docks of this major French Mediterranean port.

1859: Abramo Volterra, a cloth merchant, and Angelica Almagià, the parents of Italian mathematician and physicist, Vito Volterra were married today.

1860: Birthdate of Count Moïse de Camondo, a native of Constantinople whose Sephardic family owned one of the largest banks in the Ottoman Empire and who became a leading French banker and art collector.

1860: Birthdate of bacteriologist Waldemar Mordecai Wolff Haffkine, the native of Odessa who refused to convert to further his career choosing instead to immigrate to France where he continued his work that led to vaccines against cholera and the bubonic plague.

1862:  “Treason in Embryo: A Remarkable Document” published today contained excerpts from correspondence written by David Yulee in January of 1861. At the time, Yulee was a United States Senator representing Florida. The correspondence described the meetings of U.S. Senators from several southern states and the role they would be playing the secession movement and the establishment of the Confederate States of America.

1864(O.S.) Birthdate of Sergei Zubatov. “the head of the Czarist Secret Police in Moscow” who “convinced” the imprisoned Manya Shochat to form “tame” workers “organizations that would work for reform rather than the overthrow of the government” which would supposedly “help achieve rights for Jews” – a supposition which the policeman knew was false and which the Jewish leader came to see as a “pipe dream.”

1865: The activities surrounding “the fourth annual masquerade ball of the Purim Association” which was held last night was described in an article published today entitled “The Purim Ball--Grand Masquerade at the Academy of Music.” According to the article “The Purim Ball is held to commemorate one of the great epochs of Jewish history -- the deliverance of the chosen people from the machinations of Haman, Prime Minister to King Ahasuerus, of Persia. “The Purim Association raised approximately $9,000 for its charitable activities through the sale of 900 tickets at $10 each. The society also published the Purim Gazette, a paper which is printed at each recurrence of the Purim ball.1867: The Amusements Column, in an item styled "Last of Shylock" reported that this evening marked the next to the last performance of “The Merchant of Venice” at the Winter Garden Theatre. There would be one more Saturday matinee and then "farewell to the Jew for the Season. “The Merchant of Venice” featuring Shylock reportedly was the first Shakespearean play to have been performed in United States; a performance that took place in colonial Virginia.

1869: Prussia does away with the Oath More Judaico or Jewish Oath

1876: It was reported today that the Earl of Aylesford was in such dire financial straits that if he paid all of the money he owed to various English Jews, “he would have scarcely had a income to support himself.”

1877(1st of Nisan, 5637): Rosh Chodesh Nisan

1877(1st of Nisan, 5637): Sixty-two year old Albert Cohn, the Hungarian born French philanthropist and scholar who enjoyed a “lifelong connection with the Rothschild” and worked to improve the condition of Algerian Jewry passed away in Paris.

1879: Birthdate of Warsaw native Yakov Ganetsky, “also known as Jakub Furstenberg” the Bolshevik Revolutionary who reportedly was one of those who negotiated with the German General Staff to send Lenin back to Russia so he could complete the revolution and take Russia out of the war so that the Kaiser would be able to defeat the Allies in the West and win World War I.

1880: It was reported today that Wissenschaftliche Abhandlungen by Johann Karl Friedrich Zöllner “bristles with attacks on Jews.”

1881(14thof Adar II, 5641): Purim

1881: The Purim Masquerade Ball will be held today at the Academy of Music in New York City.

1882(24th of Adar): Rabbi Eliezer Lipmann Silbermann founder of Ha Maggid, the first weekly Hebrew newspaper, passed away today.

1884(18thof Adar, 5644): Shabbat Parah

1884(18thof Adar, 5644): Seventy-nine year old Mary Moss, the daughter of Solomon and Rebecca Eve Levy and wife of Eleazer (Eugene) Moss passed away today in Philadelphia.

1884: In Podolia, Hana and Boksir Dov Sharfshtein gave birth to author and linguist Zvi Scharfstein who came to the United States in WW I where he continued his work.

1886: In New York, formation of the Jewish Immigrants’ Protective Society

1886: Birthdate of Morris Schulman, the Russian native who gained famed as American actor Michael Mark who enjoyed a forty career in films

1886: Yeshiva Etz Chaim was founded in New York. It was the first American yeshiva to include the study of Talmud.

1889: Simon Cook was promoted from Ensign to Lt. Jr. Grade in the USN.

1889: Birthdate assigned to Melech Epstein by his parents. The native of Belarus moved to the United States where he wrote Labor in U.S.A. and The Jew and Communism 

1891: General H.B. Carrington delivered four lectures today a Syracuse University including one entitled “Hebrew History.”

1891: “New York University” published today described the upcoming free lectures that would be offered by The School of Pedagogy including Rabbi Leight on speaking on “Old Hebrew Education.”


1892: Birthdate of Jacob Bartfield, “an Austrian-born Jew nicknamed "Soldier" because he served in the American army after emigrating to the USA” who “boxed as a welterweight and middleweight in the 1910s and 1920s” and who passed away in September of 1970.

1892: “Sunday Not Recognized By Jews” published today described the grounds on which John Besher dismissed the charges that had been lodged against two Jewish grocers for doing business on Sunday. Bsher accepted their position that “Sunday being recognized by their race as an ordinary week day, they were entitled to keep their stores open for business” but only if they observe Saturdays as their Sabbath.

1892: As the business operations of J.E. Guenzburg crumbled today in St. Petersburg, it was announced that the Jewish bankers had liabilities totaling six million rubles. It had been thought that the assets of his firm which dates back to the Crimean War were closer to ten million rubles.

1892: In Paris, the Bourse closed down based on reports of the failure of J.E. Guenzburg’s banking interests in St. Petersburg.

1892: Word of the failure of J.E. Guenzburg, a leading Russian banker had little effect on the financial markets in London

1892: In Berlin it is believed that the failure of Guenzburg was the result of governmental animosity. The Czar’s government objected to the power of a Jewish banker and his involvement with German bankers since Russia is now allying itself with France. Creditors have good reason to believe that Guenzburg will pay all of his creditors.

1893: Birthdate of Jules Salvador Moch, the French politician who was the grandson of Colonel Jules Moch and the son of Captain Gaston Moch who was born and died in the same year as Captain Alfred Dreyfus whose cause he supported.

1893: Arthur Reichow, a representative of the committee connected with the Baron Hirsch Fund, returned to New York City tonight after having spent the day investigating conditions at the Jewish colony at Chesterfield, eight miles from New London, CT. “Instead of starvation” Reichow said “he found a comparatively contented people with only six families of the thirty two” at the colony were “really in need of assistance” and two of the families refused to accept any help unless it was in the form of loan.

1893: It was reported today that a Jewish peddler named Morantz has been fencing stolen goods for several gangs in the Kansas City area.  Morantz has a daughter named Mollie who takes the goods from the thieves when her father leaves the city “to sell the plunder.”

1893: Citing information that has appeared in German newspapers, “Andrew D. White, the United States Minister to Russia” has written to the State Department warning “that it is the intention of the promoters of the Baron Hirsch fund…to renew the immigration of Russian” Jews “to the Argentine Republic.”  “Only the better class of” Jews “will be sent to the South American republic and that those of an undesirable class will be sifted out and sent to the United States.”  White did not comment on the credibility of the reports saying only that U.S. immigration officials should vigilant about the appearance of such undesirable immigrants.

1895: Alfred Dreyfus arrived at the Iles de Sault, “a small archipelago situated twenty-seven miles (43 km) off Cayenne, opposite the mouth of the River Kuru” best known for Devil’s Island where the disgraced officer was to be imprisoned.

1896: In Rochester, NY, founding of the Congregation of Tailors (Chevra Chayteem) whose members included Nathan Rubenstein and which held services three times a day, operated a daily religious school and used Mt. Hope Cemetery.

1896: Seventy-eight Jewish veterans of the Union Army met in New York City's Lexington Opera House to form the Hebrew Union Veterans, the precursor group to the Jewish War Veterans of the USA. The veterans gathered in an attempt to refute claims in Harper’s Weekly and the North American Review that Jews had not fought in the war. (As reported by Seymour “Sy” Brody) The same charge was also made by Mark Twain which would prove to be unusual on two counts. Twain’s brief flirtation with the war had come on the Rebel side and his daughter would end up marrying a Jews.

1896: In Knyszyn, Poland “Reb Eli Novodvorsky, a Jewish scholar, and Chaya Tserel Novodvorsky, a small goods store owner” gave birth to Shimeon Novodvorsky, better known as Jim Novy,  the Austin, TX businessman and leader of the Jewish community who worked to save Jews from the Holocaust and was close friend of Lyndon Johnson.

1896:”Russia and Religious Liberty” published today described the treatment of non-Orthodox treatment in the Czar’s empire including his five or six million Jewish subjects who are subject to “Jew baiting” in which the government has “appealed to what is worst in human nature.  “The harrying of the Jews is generally admitted to be one of the cause of the growth of poverty” among the Russian people.  “After the expulsion of the Jews from Moscow, the rate of interest in private pawnshops rose from 25 to 200 per cent per annum. (So much for the myth of the avaricious Jewish moneylender)

1897: It was reported today that a performance of “My Uncle’s Will” by the students of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts was the main entertainment provided at an event hosted by the Hebrew Institute.

1897: Eighty-two year old English Mathematician James Joseph Sylvester, the son of Abraham Joseph who was awarded the Copley Award, the highest honor of the Royal Society passed away today.

1897: “Eulogies of Mr. Goodhart” published today described the speeches made by Dr. Emil G. Hirsch of Chicago, Dr. Stephen S. Wise, Dr. F. de Solo Mendes and Dr. Hermann Phillips the religious director at the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society all of which spoke movingly of the contribution of the late Morris Goodhart.

1897: The Hebrew Education Society of Philadelphia, whose “annual report showed that it had an income of $9,114 last year” celebrated its 49thanniversary today.

1897: “Ephraim Lederer” has volunteered to continue giving “weekly lectures on the Constitution of the United States and the requirements for the proper performance of the duties of a citizen” in Philadelphia.

1897: “Catholic Praises of Jewess” published today described the praise Reverend Sylvester Malone, State Regent and Pastor of the Church of Saints Peter and Paul in Brooklyn had for “Mrs. Nannette Marks, a Jewish lady who has become famous throughout Brooklyn for her benevolent acts, irrespective of creed and who walked to the altar rail and presented a bouquet of flowers” to Reverend Maurice Ryan, the Paulist missionary.

1899: Today the General Conference of American Rabbis discussed a paper entitled “The National Idea in Judaism with Especial Reference to the Zionistic Movement” presented by Rabbi Emil G. Hirsch of Chicago, Illinois.

1899: Three hundred forty-five guests attended the celebration of the 80thbirthday of Rabbi Isaac M. Wise which included a dinner at the Phoenix Club in Cincinnati, Ohio hosted by the General Conference of American Rabbis.

1899: It was reported today that the next musicale and tea sponsored by the Woman’s Committee of the Hebrew Technical Institute will take place next month at Sherry’s

1900: Parts of the body of Ernst Winter, a student who had disappeared in Konitz, West Prussia were discovered in a nearby lake and an arm was found in a cemetery.

1900: Following the death of a student in Konitz, Poland, local Jews are faced with another “blood libel” episode. While Count Plucker promoted riots against the Jews, Wolf Israelski was accused and arrested. After Israelski was proven innocent, two other Jews, Moritz Lewy and Rosenthal, were arrested on the same charge. Rosenthal and Lewy were acquitted, yet Lewy was sentenced to four years for denying he knew the victim. All the evidence was based on the testimony of a petty thief named Masloff who later received only one year for perjury.

1903(16thof Adar, 5663): Shushan Purim

1903(16thof Adar, 5663): Sixty-four year old Adolph Loeb the native Bechtheim, Germany, the son of Jakob and Ester Loeb and the husband of Johanna Loeb passed away today in Chicago.

1905: Birthdate of Nat Perrin, the lawyer turned gag writer whose career spanned Marx Brothers Movies to “The Addams Family” – a 1960’s sitcom.

1905(8thof Adar II, 5665): Seventy-seven year old Meyer Guggenheim, the native of Switzerland, who came to the United States in 1847 where he made his fortune in mining and smelting and became the patriarch of the Guggenheim clan consisting of his wife Barbara and ten children, passed away today.

1906: While delivering a speech at Chesham on the question of the excluding aliens from settling in the British Isles, The Honorable Lionel Walter Rothschild, Member of Parliament for the Aylesbury Division of Buckinghamshire, “referred to the number of poor Russian refugees excluded from Great Britain in the last few months.” Based on what he considered to be “irrefutable evidence,” Mr. Rothschild, the son of Lord Rothschild, reported that those Russians who were forced to return to their native land were shot at the border without being given any kind of..
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March 14
388: A law prohibiting mixed marriages between Jews and non-Jews which is defined as adultery, is promulgated as part of the Theodosian Code.

1181: King Philip Augustus of France ordered the seizure of all Jews of Paris attending synagogue and had them detained for ransom

1473(14th of Adar): Marranos massacred in Cordova, Spain

1489: The Queen of Cyprus, Catherine Cornaro, sells her kingdom to Venice. Jews had been living on this Mediterranean island since Roman time.  At the time of the Venetian acquisition, a considerable number of Jews were leading merchants in the port of Famagusta. 

1492: Queen Isabella of Castile orders her 150,000 Jewish subjects to convert to Christianity or face expulsion.

1535: David dei Rossi a Jewish merchant from Italy, who set out for the Orient in 1534, writes his wife Sarah the following observation of life in Ottoman Palestine, "Hatred of the Jew is, in contrast to our homeland, unknown here, and the Turks hold the Jews in esteem. In this country and in Egypt, Jews are the chief officers and administrators of the customs.

1543: During the Counter Reformation, Paul III issued entitled “Injunctum nobis,” a papal bull that affirmed certain Catholic teachings, including the authority of the Pope, in the face of Protestant challenges. This came a year after Paul III had launched an Inquisition that was designed to stamp the Protestant revolution begun by Luther.  “Judaizing” was one of the crimes that the Inquisition was empowered to investigated and punish. 

1630: In Przemysl, Poland, Moses the Braider, a Jewish merchant, was accused of conspiring to desecrate the host and was burned alive.

1647: Bavaria, Cologne, France and Sweden sign the Truce of Ulm during the Thirty Years War. The Thirty Years War coincided with the great Cossack Uprising.  Jewish refugees from these two calamities reversed the eastward migration of Jews.  A trickle that would eventual became a comparative “torrent” began moving Westward settling in Holland and England. 

1682: Jacob Isaackszoon van Ruisdael, the Dutch landscape painter whose works include “The Jewish Cemetery” passed away today.

1750: In New Amsterdam (New York City), Isaac Mendes Seixas, a native of Lisbon and Rachel Franks Levy, a native of London gave birth to Abraham Mendes Seixas who would be buried in Charleston, SC when he passed away at the end of the 18th century.

1774(2nd of Nisan, 5534): The Jews of Basra, Persia celebrated a special Purim, Yom Ha Nes

1791: Sixty-five year old Johann Salomon Semler the Lutheran historian and biblical commentator who “was the first to take due note of and use for critical purposes the opposition between the Judaic and anti-Judaic parties of the early church” passed away today.

1794(12 of Adar II, 5554): Elias Issak Wetheim, who had moved to Frankfurt in 1769 and was the husband of Merle Cahn passed away today.

1799: The French Army under Napoleon leaves Jaffa after conquering the city and “continued its march northwards towards its goal, Acre.”

1808(15th of Adar, 5568): Shushan Purim

1820: Birthdate of Victor Emmanuel II, the first King of a unified Italian state.  He reigned from 1861 until 1878.  How big a difference did the emergence of the modern Italian nation make to the Jewish people?  “Historian Howard Morley Sacher puts it this way: ‘In 1848 there had been no European country save Spain where the restrictions placed upon Jews were more galling and more humiliating than in Italy.  After 1860, there was no country on the continent of Europe where conditions were better for Jews.’”

1821: Thirty-two year old Sarah Marks, the daughter of Michael Marks married Samuel Lyons today.

1827(15th of Adar, 5587): Shushan Purim

1832: In Edinburgh, Helen and Sir Charles Fergusson gave birth to Sir James Fergusson who during a Parliamentary debate in 1890 “said that the British Charge d’Affiares at St. Petersburg had telegraphed the Foreign Office that no fresh measures were under consideration by the Government aiming to deprive the Jews of any of the privileges they now enjoy.”

1841: Birthdate of Moritz Rosenhaupt, whose father was the rabbi at Offenbach on the Glan (Prussia) who served as a cantor at Speyer and Nuremberg.
1845: The state of Massachusetts granted a charter of incorporation to Congregation Ohabei Shalom (Lovers of Peace) giving form anal possession of land to the Jewish Community. Organized by German Jews living in Boston, this large Reform congregation is now located in Brookline, MA. It is the only Jewish congregation in the Bay State and the second oldest in New England.

1851: While traveling from London to Philadelphia, Rabbi Sabato Morais arrived in New York

1853: British Parliament debates a Jewish Disabilities Bill. Lord John Russell said that “his object was to complete the edifice of religious toleration by permitting the Jewish subjects of Britain the same rights and privileges of British subjects as were a presented enjoyed by Protestants, Dissenters and Roman Catholics.” He could see no danger to Christian institutions to allow “a small number of believers in a different faith and who were otherwise good citizens and not given to proselytizing” to hold civil office. Among the opponents, the famed Robert Peel claimed that “it was incompatible with the dignity of Christians to admit Jews into almost every office.” One member of the House called for a definition of Parliamentary Christianity because “he could not understand what doctrine of the Christian religion was involved in Parliamentary Christianity. While another opponent said that Jews were as bad as atheist, Mr. O’Connell came to the defense of the Jews.  As a Roman Catholic he had suffered discrimination and felt it was his duty to speak up on behalf of another group suffering the same fate.  The Bill would be defeated.  Victory would not come until 1848.

1853: Sixty-six year old Julius Jacob von Haynau, the Austrian general who pardoned Judah Leib "Leopold" Löw after he had been arrested following the Revolutions of 1848.

1854(14th of Adar, 5614): Purim

1854: Birthdate of Nobel Prize Winner and medical scientist, Paul Ehrlich. Ehrlich discovered a treatment for syphilis.  He died in 1915 at the age of 61. How does a Jew become a German scientist? - By winning the Nobel Prize.  Interestingly, the obituaries of both of these men (see Einstein below) identify them as Germans even though in the case of Einstein he was forced to flee by the Germans just before the Brown Shirts ransacked his home and office.

1855: Four years after protesting “against the ratification of a treaty between Switzerland and the United States on the ground that the former government discriminated against his co-religionists,” Jacob Ezekiel, a prominent Richmond, VA Jew and the brother-in-law of Jacob A. Levy wrote to Dr. Isaac M. Wise suggesting “the establishment of a Zion Collegiate Institute in Cincinnati and a Union of the Israelites in America in which all could co-operate in matters of religion.”

1859: Birthdate of Adolf Cardinal Bertram the archbishop of Breslau and cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who in 1933 refused the request of an inter-faith group to take part in the protest of the boycott of Jewish businesses organized by the Nazis and who “ordered Church celebrations upon Nazi Germany's victory over Poland and France, with order to ring bells all across Reich upon the news of Nazi capture of Warsaw in 1939.”

1860(20th of Adar, 5620): Lewis Charles Levin passed away.  Levin was the first Jew elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He was the American Party candidate from Pennsylvania in 1844. He was born in Charleston South Carolina, on November 10, 1808. He graduated from South Carolina College (now the University of South Carolina) with a law degree. He was a founder of the Native American Party and published and edited the Philadelphia Daily Sun. Levin was reelected twice before being defeated in 1850. He then returned to the practice of law in Philadelphia.

1861: It was announced at today’s meeting of the Board of Charities and Corrections that the Hebrew Orphan and Half orphan Asylum was among the organizations that received a portion of the $645 dollars recently raised at benefit held to raise funds for the benefit of New York’s widows and orphans.

1865: The fourth annual masquerade ball of the Purim Association took place this evening at the Academy of Music. The society is composed exclusively of Jews, and the proceeds are to be devoted to charitable purposes.

1862: Aaron Katz, a native of Philadelphia, PA who had been working as a clerk in Mecklenburg County, NC, enlisted in the Confederate Army today

1865: “The Hebrew Purim Ball” one of the highlights of the New York social season was held this evening at the Academy of Music.

1866: Seventy-six year old American historian and former President of Harvard Jared Sparks who had taken an interest in the life of Haym Solomon passed away. When others were attempting to denigrate Solomon’s role, Professor Sparks “wrote to the effect that Solomon’s association with Robert Morris ‘were very close and intimate and that a great part of the success that Mr. Morris attained in his financial schemes was due to skill and ability of Hyam Solomon.”

1868(20th of Adar, 5628): Shabbat Parah

1868(20th of Adar, 5628): Solomon Ben Baruch Salkind, the Lithuanian born poet who wrote in Hebrew passed away today.

1871: The group that would eventually become the Personal Rights Association in which “English author and economist’ Joseph Hiam Levy played a major role, met for the first time today in Manchester, UK.

1871: In a lecture delivered tonight at Rutgers Female College entitled “The Bible in the Rocks,” Professor Egleston said that the Bible was written for “Hebrew bondsman, so all of the illustrations are of a simple nature and can be comprehended by the most unenlightened.  Yet these illustrations are perfectly consistent with the latest discoveries of modern science.”

1873(15th of Adar, 5633): Shushan Purim

1874: “The History of Hats” published today traces the men’s headgear from ancient Tibet to modern day France.  According to the author, Jews have not made any contribution to what he calls “hatology” claiming that he cannot find a Hebrew word hat and that Jews have “entirely discarded that useful article of dress.”

1876: A full dress reception sponsored by the Purim Association will be held at Delmonico’s this evening in New York City. This event marks the fifth and final day of receptions, suppers and other festivities marking the celebration of Purim.

1879: In Ulm, Hermann Einstein, a salesman and engineer, and Pauline Koch gave birth to Albert Einstein. Forced to flee Germany during the Nazi era, Einstein continued his career at Princeton where he died in 1955.  He published four scientific papers in his spare time while he worked as an examiner in the Swiss Patents Office. Each one had revolutionary implications for the field of physics. Among them was his special theory of relativity. Einstein said, "If A equals success, then the formula is A equals X plus Y plus Z. X is work. Y is play. Z is keep your mouth shut." It was Einstein who warned Roosevelt of the dangers of Nazi Germany building the Atomic Bomb - a warning headed by the United States.  Einstein's views on religion were not exactly Jewish, but he was Jewish enough to be offered the Presidency of the infant state of Israel - a position he reluctantly declined.

1881: According to Mrs. Berthold Riese, she was married to Berthold Riese, a Jewish clairvoyant on this date.  During a trial in 1887, in which he faced charges of having abandoned his wife, Riese would deny the validity of the document which said the he, a Jew, was married to Catholic by a Lutheran minister.

1883: Karl Marx passed away.

1884: Birthdate of Maxwell Zwerbach the American gangster known as Max "Kid Twist" Zwerbach who led the Eastman Gang.

1888: This morning, at Coosaw, SC, Rabbi David Levy officiated at the wedding of Maurice Emanuel of St. Augustine, FL and Mary E. Seixas at the home of A.M. Lopez.

1892(15th of Adar, 5652): Shushan Purim

1892: Police Recorder dismissed the charges that had been lodged against two Jewish grocers who had been arrested last week for doing business on Sunday.

1893: Two members of a gang in Kansas City, MO that uses a Jewish fence named Morantz were captured this morning.

1894: In Vienna, burial of eighty-four year Bohemian born medical doctor Ludwig August Ritter von Frankl-Hochwart, the student of Zecharias Frankel who served as secretary and archivist of the Vienna Jewish community where he practiced medicine and was active in the Revolution of 1848. (As reported by Singer and Mannheimer)

1894: Among the charities that received money from the Mayor’s Committee of Five which was distributing funds that had been raised   to aid those who have lost their jobs during the current economic distribution was the United Hebrew Charities which was given $2,700.

1896: The Hovevei Zion in Vienna decides to call on Herzl to work for the fulfillment of the program of a Jewish state.

1896: The Jewish children whose families live on the upper east side of New York City gave a ball and carnival tonight at the Central Opera House.

1896: The Sutro Baths, the “largest indoor swimming pool establishment” which were built by Adolph Sutro, opened “on the western side of San Francisco” today.

1897: “The Old Dutch Records” published today described the impact of “the city of New York” to publish “the records of its municipal ancestor, Nieuw Amsterdam. Included in the documents is a report of the arrival of 23 Jews in 1654 who “were ordered to depart March 1, 1655.  The Patroons of the West India Company decide, however that as the Jews owned most of the stock in that organization, they would be let alone.”

1897: “Austria’s Extraordinary Politics” described the electoral climate in the polyglot empire where “the Clerical Party” which “style themselves as Christian Socialites but are better known as anti-Semites” “is led by the lower clergy in defiance” of the Bishops “but which has the benediction of the Vatican” has again won victory in Vienna.

1897: In Brooklyn, Father Sylvester Malone of the Church Saint Peter and Saint Paul spoke in praise of “Mrs. Nannette Marks, a Jewish lady who has become famous throughout Brooklyn for her benevolent acts” irrespective of the creed of those in need.

1897: Emma Frohman was in charge of the entertainment presented by the Hebrew Institute on East Broadway this evening.

1897: A service was held in memory of Morris Goodhart, the late President of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society who passed away in February.

1897: Seventieth anniversary of the birth of Mrs. Philip J. Joachimsen, the native of Bristol, who fund the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society.

1898: Felix Adler addresses the Mother’s Congress this afternoon.

1899(3rd of Nisan, 5659): Seventy-five year old Ludwig Bamberger who was a revolutionary in 1848, a patriot during the Franco-Prussian War who was elected to the first German Reichstag that met in 1873

1899(3rd of Nisan, 5659): Seventy five year old Hyman Steinthal, the brother-in-law of Moritz Lazarus, who was “a German philologist and philosopher” passed away today.

1899: In Albany, Edward Lauterbach appeared before the state Senate Cities Committee to voice his opposition to a bill that would establish St. Nicholas Park because the park would encompass grounds on Amsterdam Avenue that had been previously granted to the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

1899: “Certain Phases of Zionism” published today described the view of Professor Thomas Davidson that the Jewish return to Palestine because of selection by “a Supreme Being” is “illogical and unfair.”  “Jew must cast off the swaddling clothes of supernatural and superstition” for “the new Zion of religious freedom.”

1899(3rd of Nisan, 5659): Émile Erckmann, co-author of the 1869 play “Le Jeuf Polonais” (The Polish Jew) passed away today.

1899(3rd of Nisan, 5659): Seventy-five year old “German philologist and philosopher” Heymann Steinthal, the brother-in-law of Moritz Lazarus and “privat-dozent in critical history of the Old Testament and in religious philosophy at the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums, or Higher Institute for Jewish Studies” passed away today.

1899: “Topics of the Times” published today described the career of Dr. Isaac Mayer Wise, “the oldest American rabbi now in active service and generally and cordially recognized as the most eminent of them” who will be honored at the upcoming session of the Central of American Rabbis.  According to the article he was born on March 14 while other sources show his birthdate as March 29, 1819.

1899: The member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis presented Dr. Isaac M. Wise with an ivory gavel mounted in gold as part of the celebrations honoring his 80th birthday which included a dinner at the Phoenix Club in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1899: Birthdate of Des Moines, IA native and Yale University graduate Elliot E. Cohen the founding editor of Commentary magazine.

1900: Morris and Rose Gershwin gave birth to future stock broker and composer Arthur Gershwin

1900: In Philadelphia, Joseph and Eva Biberman gave birth to blacklisted screenwriter and director Herbert J. Biberman, the brother of Edward Biberman

1903: Birthdate of American painter Adolph Gottlieb an original member of “The Ten” a group of mostly expressionist and mostly Jewish avant garde artists.  Gottlieb abandoned figuration for a new style, “abstract expressionism.”

1904: Pope Pius X accepted the resignation of Theodor Kohn as Archbishop of Olomous who had been forced to resign according to some because his grandfather was Jewish.

1905: Birthdate of Raymond-Claude-Ferdinand Aron, “a French philosopher, sociologist and political scientist, well known for his lifelong, often critical friendship with Jean-Paul Sartre, and for his skepticism of the post-war vogue in France for ideologies that largely took their inspiration from a Marxist tradition.” The son of a Jewish lawyer who witnessed Nazi book burnings, he passed away in 1983.

1906: In St. Petersburg, “the government announced that it will take measures to stop the incitement to murder Jews” which has given rise to a rumor that the government plans to abolish all of the reactionary organizations.

1906: Flora Krichefski the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. Krichefski of Jersey married Hyman Appleberg, the son of Mr. and Mrs. A.L. Appleberg at the Great Synagogue.

1906: In St. Petersburg, the Police Prefect to Premier Witte that he did not know how a “proclamation calling for the extermination of the Jews was printed in the official printing office attached to his department.”

1906: Beth Israel Hospital is scheduled to host its annual ball tonight at Madison Square Garden.

1909: In “Rabbi Lyons Urges Reform Judaism,” published today Rabbi Alexander Lyons of Temple Beth Elohim in State Street, Brooklyn expressed his opposition to the formation of a Jewish federation in New York City. His opposition is based, in part, on his strongly held belief that Reformed Judaism is “the religion of the Jewish future” and that Orthodox Judaism is doomed. Furthermore he believes that such a federation would be futile attempt to paper over the social, economic and ideological differences in the Jewish community and that such an organization would separate the Jewish people from their fellow Americans.

1910: Birthdate of Harry Blitman, the featherweight boxer from Philadelphia who began his boxing career at the age of 16.

1911(14th of Adar, 5671): Purim

1913: According to Dr. Maurice H. Harris who spoke tonight at Congregation Temple Israel, “the Jewish citizens of America were caricatured unjustly by Burton J. Hendrick in his article ‘The Jewish Invasion of America” published in the March issue of McClure’s Magazine>.

1913: The Annual Conference on Child Labor to which Leon Schwarz of Mobile, Alabama had been appointed as a delegate continued for a second day in Jacksonville, Florida.

1913: The funeral was held today in Chicago for Victor B. Strelitz, a member of the firm of Strelitz Brothers – David I., Isaac D., Maurice and Arthur V. – who had died suddenly in New York City at the age of forty two.

1914: In Asbury Park, New Jersey, Ethel and Mores Hess, a kosher butcher, gave birth to Leon Hess, “the founder of the Hess Corporation and owner of the New York Jets professional football team.

1914: “While the extraordinary motion hearing was pending, the Journal called for a new trial, saying that to execute Frank based on the atmosphere both within and outside the courtroom would "amount to judicial murder". Other newspapers in the state followed suit and many ministers spoke from the pulpit supporting a new trial.

1915: Birthdate of L.B. Stein, the native of Chatham, Mississippi, the “first cousin once removed” of Greenville, MS, born and Tulane University educated Rabbi Fred Victor Davidow and “historian”  who ministered to the spiritual needs of many members of the Jewish community in Philadelphia, PA.

1915: A benefit performance sponsored by the Krakauer Charity and Aid Society is scheduled to take place tonight at the Lyric Theatre. The money raised by this event will used to buy Matzoth which will be distributed among the city’s poor Jews for their use during the upcoming celebration of Passover.  The famous singer and actress, Lillian Russell has volunteered to serve as the announcer for the event. [The Krakauer Charity and Aid Society was one of the many organizations established by Jews from Cracow, Poland.  No reason is given for Lillian Russell’s having volunteered her services for the event.  However, she was married to Edward Solomon, the English composer whose family was Jewish.]

1915: “Nearly 3,000 delegates assembled” today at “the sixth annual meeting of the Hebrew Sheltering and..
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March 13
624: Islamic forces under the command of Muhammad were victorious at the Battle of Badr which cemented the power of the Moslem leader with all that we would mean for civilization in general and the Jews in particular.

1202: Seventy-six year old Mieszko III, the Duke of Greater Poland who “employed Jews in his mint as engravers and technical supervisors, and the coins minted during that period even bear Hebraic markings” passed away today.

1245: As the Mongols sweep across Asia and Christian Europe, Innocent IV issued “Cum non solum,” a letter addressed to the Mongols asking them to desist from attacking Christian nations.  This is the same Innocent IV who had ordered the massive burning of Jewish books including many priceless copies of the Talmud. 

1366: During the Castilian Civil War, Peter of Castile, whose depiction by his enemies as being friendly Jews was used against was deposed as King of Castile and Leon.

1421 (10th of Nisan): After nearly a year’s imprisonment, the Jews of Austria were ordered to be burned.  “In Vienna alone, more than a hundred perished in one field near the Danube.” 

1421(10th of Nisan): Rabbi Aaron of Neustadt, author Hilkhot Niddah died the martyr’s death in Vienna

1524: Suleiman II issued a firman that brought closure to Abraham de Castro who had exposed the traitorous plans of Amad-Pasha to take control of Egypt and protection for the Jews of Egypt, an event memorialized by “Cairo Purim)

1601(9th of Adar II): Mordecai Marcus Meisel passed away. Born in in 1528, the son of Samuel Meisel, he was one of the wealthiest people in Bohemia. A noted philanthropist, he was a leader of the Jewish community in Prague. During his youth, the Jews of Prague were the victims of the fanatical persecutions instituted by Ferdinand I. “In 1542 and 1561 his family, with the other Jewish inhabitants, was forced to leave the city, though only for a time. The source of the great wealth which subsequently enabled him to become the benefactor of his coreligionists and to aid the Austrian imperial house, especially during the Turkish wars, is unknown. He is mentioned in documents for the first time in 1569, as having business relations with the communal director Isaac Rofe (Lékarz), subsequently his father-in-law. His first wife, Eva, who died before 1580, built with him the Jewish Town Hall in Prague, which is still standing, as well as the neighboring Hohe synagogue, where the Jewish court sat. With his second wife, Frummet, he built (1590-92) the Maisel Synagogue, which was much admired by the Jews of the time, being, next to the Altneusynagoge, the metropolitan synagogue of the city.”  After his death, despite the fact that  “his widow had given presents of tens of thousands of florins to the king and city, soldiers would forcibly enter his house on the Sabbath and torture his nephews until they ‘confessed’ that there was still more money hidden away. All the money was declared property of the Bohemian Chamber with nothing left to the family.”

1615: Birthdate of Antonio Pignatelli who as Pope Innocent XII abolished Jewish loan-banks in Rome 1682. In the following year he extended the ban to Ferrara and other Jewish ghettos under his authority. He also prohibited the Jews under his control from serving as shopkeeper and banned them most trades and crafts, causing the Roman Jewish community to shrink.

1639: Harvard College is named for clergyman John Harvard. Eighty-three years later, Harvard would hire its first Jewish instructor, sort-of. In 1722,”the officers of Harvard Corporation vote that Judah Monis be approved as an instructor of the Hebrew language at the College, under the condition that he convert to Christianity. One month before assuming his post at Harvard, Monis converts before a large assembly in College Hall.” It would take Harvard another 221 years to hire a Jewish professor without the requirement that he convert. Harry Levin became the first Jewish full professor in the Harvard English department in 1943.

1656: The Jews were denied the right to build a synagogue in New Amsterdam.

1682: Students in Cracow staged anti-Semitic riots

1741: Birthdate of Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor.  On the positive side, Joseph did away with numerous humiliating conditions for his Jewish subjects including the special badges and taxes. He wanted to liberate the Jews from “humiliating and oppressive laws and to assure that all Austrian subjects could contribute to the public welfare without any distinction with regard to nationality and religion.”  The thrust of his reforms were intended to make Germans out of his Jewish subjects.  This liberalization worried the empire’s anti-Semites.  But it also bothered Jewish leaders including Moses Mendelssohn.  They feared that the price of being free was a diluted Judaism. 

1745: Jews exiled from Prague

1808(14th of Adar, 5568): Purim

1808: Frederick VI, who had shown a great deal of interest in his Jewish subjects while regent and who would support full Jewish emancipation began his reign as King of Denmark.

1809: Birthdate of Alexander Levi, a French born Sephardic Jew, who was one of the early settlers of Dubuque, Iowa. He would live there until he passed away in 1893.  Levi was a successful merchant and civic leader who was one of the first Jews to hold public office in the Hawkeye state.

1815: In Pressburg, Sarel, the daughter of Rabbi Akiva Eger and Rabbi Moses Sofer gave birth to Shmuel Binyomin Sofer a leading 19th century Hungarian Rabbi and rosh yeshiva of the Pressburg Yeshiva.

1825: Birthdate of Immanuel Heinrich Ritter who succeeded Samuel Holdheim as the rabbi at the Berlin Reform Temple in 1860.

1825: Birthdate of Grigori Asaacovich Bogrov, the native of Minsk, the Russian author whose first work was Memoirs of a Jew in which he “portrays the vicissitudes of his life and surroundings” and who left an unpublished Hebrew transcript on astronomy at the time of his death in 1885.

1827(14th of Adar, 5587): Purim

1833: David Nathan married Mary Lazarus at Canterbury, Kent, UK.

1836: In Bavaria, Aron Emunuel Scharff and Magdelanna Roos gave birth to Nicholas Scharff

1840: In Rotterdam, Salomon Isaac Bril and the former Mietje Maria Benedictus gave birth to Betje Bril

1843: Birthdate of Solomon Abedndana Belmonte, the Hamburg born jurist who was elected deputy to the Hamburg Bürgerschaft, in 1887.

1844: In Paris, twenty-one year old Emma Silberstein, “the daughter of Salomon Silberstein and Amilie Kempner married Louis Loewe with whom she had four daughters and five sons, “one of whom was James Lowe, Raphael Loewe’s grandfather.”

1845: Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto is premièred in Leipzig with Ferdinand David as soloist. Born in 1809 Felix Mendelssohn was the grandson of Moses Mendelssohn.  His Jewish parents had him baptized as a Lutheran in 1816.  The violinist Ferdinand David was Jewish.

1847: In Mitwitz, Bavaria Abraham H. Freund and Marie Hoenigsberger gave birth to Adolph Freund, the husband of Henrietta Newman and trustee of both the National Jewish Hospital for Consumptives in Denver and the Montefiore Kesher Home for Aged and Infirm Israelites of Cleveland who was he Diretor and Financial Representative of Cleveland, Ohio’s Jewish Orphan Asylum.

1848(8th of Adar II, 5608): During the Revolution of 1848, “as Viennese students thronged toward the Lower Austrian Diet to submit their revolutionary demands, imperial troops fired into the crowd” killing Carl Heinrich Spitzer, “a 17-year old Moravian Jew” studying at the Vienna Polytechnic making him “the first martyr of the revolution.

1850: David Meyer Davidson married Henrietta Cohen at the Great Synagogue today.

1852: In Berlin, Louis and Pauline Blumenthal gave birth to Oskar (Oscar) Blumenthal who morphed from theatre critic to playwright and was the husband of Marie Blumenthal with whom he had one son – Ferdinand.

1852: "Austria" published today reported that "a Hungarian Jew has been arrested for trying to negotiate a number of Kossuth notes that he had brought with him from Hamburg."

1854(13th of Adar, 5614): Ta’anit Esther; Erev Purim

1862(11th of Adar II, 5622): Fast of Esther. 

1862: Birthdate of Baltimore native Henriette Hennie van Leer.

1865(15th of Adar, 5625): Shushan Purim

1865: After rejoining his regiment in December, 1864, today Edward S. Salomon “received a brevet promotion to brigadier general.”

1865: Frederick Knefler, who was serving under the command of General William Tecumseh Sherman, was promoted to the rank of brevet brigadier general just before the end of the Civil War.  Born in Hungary in 1833, Knefler had the distinction of being one of the few people to rise from the rank of private to general during the course of a war.  In 1861 he volunteered for the Union Army and became a captain within one year.  He passed away in 1901.

1865:During the Civil War Major Alfred Mordecai, Jr was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Union Army.  The newly promoted Lieutenant Colonel was the son of Alfred Mordecai, a southern born officer in the United States Army.  Mordecai Sr. resigned from the Army rather than fight against the South, marking the end to an illustrious career.  However, in a display of honor that was rare among other Southerners who left the U.S. Army, he refused to accept a commission in the Confederate Army or serve the South in any civilian capacity.

1865: Thirty-three year old Philadelphia native Myer Asch who had been serving with the Union Cavalry since 1861 and spent six months in Rebel prisons including the infamous Libby Prison, was breveted as a Colonel of United States Vounteers “for gallant and meritorious services during the war

1866(26th of Adar, 5626): Seventy-one year old Julius Rubo who despite his brilliance and ability found both a legal and academic career ultimately closed to him because of his religion from which he refused to convert, passed away today.

1870: At a meeting of the board of directors of the “B'nai Jeshurun Ladies' Hebrew Benevolent Society, the President, Mrs. Henry Leo, the founder of the Society, presented a report on the growing number of destitute Jews who were elderly and in poor health.  She urged the ladies to develop a practical way of dealing with this growing problem

1870:  A group of leaders of the Jewish community, including Thomas H. Keasing, E.S. Isaacs and T.J. Solomon, met today to make plans for establishing a society that would destitute Jewish immigrants when they came to United States.  A committee of seven was selected to draw up plans for such an organization that would be submitted to this group at its next meeting.  In the meantime, fifty dollars was donated to serve as “seed money” for the group’s work.

1871: The children of Aaron Adolphus, a wealthy New York Jew who passed away in January, contested the terms of their father’s will in Surrogate Court.

1873(14thof Adar, 5633): Purim

1873: Birthdate of Benzion ben Moses Eisenstadt, the native of Minsk whose literary output included poetry and biography of rabbis and scholars.

1873: In New York, the Sabbath School Fair Association of the 57th Street Congregation hosted a Purim reception and masked ball at the Terrace Garden.

1875: It was reported today that the police in Hartford, Connecticut, have arrested a swindler named W.F. Gerhardt.  Gerhardt is really is really Hungarian born Jew named Moritz who worked his larceny in his native land before being forced to flee to the United States. His confederates include Michael Mandl, an Austrian Jew and Henry Hertz.

1876: It was reported that the Jews in Washington, DC celebrated Purim with “a brilliant masked ball.”

1876: A police officer found the body of Leopold King in front the building housing Ahavat Chesed in New York City. The police found an empty blue vial in his hand that smelled of prussic acid. The 54 year old King was a native of Prussia who had retired from his successful cap making business and gone into real estate.  The family could offer no reason for a suicide and said they thought “that he died from a fit of apoplexy.”

1876: It was reported today that the managers of the  Home for the Aged and Infirm Hebrews has leased the “Old Hildebrand Mansion “ at the corner of 87th Street and Avenue A in New York City.  The number of people seeking admission has grown to such a large number that the current facility on Lexington Avenue and 63rd Street is no longer large enough.

1880(1st of Nisan, 5640): Parashat Vayikra; Rosh Chodesh Nisan’; Shabbat HaChodesh.

1881: Alexander II of Russia is assassinated, which put an end to his half-hearted liberalism. He was succeeded by Alexander III who was devoted to medievalism and urged a return to “Russian civilization.”  The most influential person during his reign was Pobestonostov, his financier and procurator of the Holy Synod, who earned the title "the Second Torquemada." The newspapers in Moscow, Kiev and Odessa began a campaign against the Jews which would only lead to greater outbreaks of anti-Semitism as the Czarist regime swirled forward on its downward dance with destruction that ended in 1917.

1884(16th of Adar, 5644): Sixty-four year old Charlotte von Rothschild, the only daughter of Carl Mayer von Rothschild and the wife of Lionel de Rothschild with whom she had five children passed away today.

1887:  In Clinton, IA, a group of Protestants founded the American Protective Association which was anit-Catholic and anti-immigrant at the same time that an untold number of Jews were trying to escape from repressive regimes Russia and Romania.

1888: Justice Samuel Greenbaum married Selina Ulman today. They had four children - Lawrence Samuel, Edward Samuel, Grace and Isabel – before she passed away at 25 years of age.

1890: It was reported today that the Passover Relief Association had raised nearly $250 at its annual Purim masquerade ball which would go toward the fund it raises yearly to provide the Hebrew poor of this city with the wherewithal to celebrate Passover.

1890: “Hebrew Charities” published today summarized the efforts of the United Hebrew Charities during the month of February which including providing 226 applicants with work and providing 216 pupils with free instruction in the industrial school. The charity provided over seven thousand dollars in direct aid.

1891: It was reported today that the funds Jesse Seligman has received from Baron Hirsh “will be kept in the vaults of various trust companies until the trustees of the fund decide” how it is to be invested.

1892(14th of Adar, 5652): Purim

1893: Felix Adler is among those scheduled to meet with President Cleveland today to urge him to veto the newly passed Treaty of Extradition with Russia.

1893: “Oriental Records Translated” published today provides a detailed review of Records of the Past edited by A.H. Sayce  which includes the information that “in the soil of Palestine, for example, the spade has brought to light evidence of the existence of a Canaanitish library dating from a period earlier than the birth of Moses…” The material translated provided a comparison between Biblical texts and those of other, recently discovered civilizations in the East.

1894: “Want The School Reopened” published today describe a meeting held to protest the closure of grammar school on Hester Street which will impact 500 children, most of them who are Jewish.  The leaders of the protest contend that the Jewish “resident of the district were anxious to have their children the English language” and were afraid that the closure would impede this.  (Editor’s Note – Compare this view of the English language by Jewish immigrants with that which has evolved in the 21stcentury)

1894: The United Hebrew Charities is one of the organizations distributing the proceeds from a concert given by Musurgia to help aid those suffering during the current economic depression.

1895: Sir Arthur Wing Pinero’s “The Notorious Mrs. Ebbsmith” was produced for the first time at the Garrick Theatre.

1896: In Chicago, Benvendia Solis Firth, the daughter of Moses Maness Ritterband and Esther Amada Ritterband and Emil Firth gave birth to Mildred Rosenkranz, the wife Elias Victor Rosenkranz.

1897:  San Diego State University founded. The first Jew connected with San Diego was a young adventurer named Louis Pollock who was temporarily imprisoned in San Diego along with other Americans by Mexican authorities.  By 1851, there were enough Jews in San Diego for Lewis Franklin to organize the first High Holiday services held in southern California.  Today SDSU has approximately 2,500 Jews among its 27,000 undergraduates and 500 Jews among more than 6,300 graduate students. The school offers 15 courses in Jewish studies and students can major or minor in Jewish Studies. The campus has an accredited Hillel with its own Hillel House. For more information about the SDSU Jewish community see http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~jewish/

1897: “Another Homer to be Identified” published today provides a critique of “The Unknown Homer of the Hebrews” by Amos Kidder Fiske the author of The Jewish Scriptures.  According to Fiske, just as Homer is the father of Greek literature, so is there one author un-named author who created much of the Biblical literature.  Based on “higher biblical criticism” Fiske contends that the author is the Prophet Elijah

1897: “The Austrian Election” published today described the outcome of the vote for Mayor in Vienna where “Dr. Lueger, the well-known Jew-baiter” has emerged victorious over Mayor Strohbach.  The Emperor had nullified an earlier victory by Lueger but the belief is that the he will not intervene for a second time.

1898: “Money Lenders Attacked” published today summarized the testimony of Sir George Lewis “the well-known lawyer” and leader of the Jewish community before the House of Commons in which he complained of the behavior of money lenders, “the bulk of them” who “were Jews whom “the Jewish community loathed and despised.”  The worst of the lot was one known as “Sam” who had played a key role in the scandal surrounding Lord Nevill-Spender Clay.

1898: Lemercier-Picard, author of the forged letter quoted by General de Pellieux a month earlier (the "faux Henry"), is found hanging from the window-catch of his hotel bedroom.  Circumstances of death remain unclear.

1899: While testifying before the Court of Inquiry investigating “the beef counsel” Edward Tilden, the treasurer of Libby, McNeill & Libby Packing Company testified that “the forequarter of the carcass is the only part eaten by an Orthodox Jew” but that that the price of the beef does not depend on “the number of Jews in the community.”

1899: Rabbi H.P. Mendez, Dr. Stephen Wise, Rabbi Gustav Gottheil and his son were among the prominent Jews attended Professor Thomas Davidson’s lecture entitled “Zionism from a Non-Jewish Standpoint” at Shearith Israel Synagogue.

1899: This evening Cincinnati, Ohio, Rabbi David Philippson is scheduled to deliver the “address of welcome” at the preliminary meeting prior to the official opening of the annual Conference of American Rabbis which will start tomorrow.  Dr. Joseph Silverman and Rabbi Isaac M. Wise are also scheduled to address the meeting to which the general public has been invited.

1900: Henri Didon Louis Remy, the Dominican Friar who wrote approvingly of the fifth and final volume of Renan’s History of the Jews passed away today.

1901: Sixty-seven year old Benjamin Harrison, the 23rd President of the United States whose Secretary of State, James G. Blaine “instructed the American minister to Russia to exert his influence against” any new anti-Jewish measures being adopted by the Czar and whose administration received a memorial from William Blackstone and his supporters calling for “an international conference to consider the condition of the Israelites and their claims to Palestine as their ancient home” passed away today.

1902: The Sultan approves the Rouvier project (from the French government) for the consolidation of the public debt. This was part of a project that Herzl had worked on, the idea being that assisting the Ottomans with their financial needs would help smooth the way for the creation of a Jewish homeland in Eretz Israelwhich was part of the Sultan’s empire.

1903(14th of Adar, 5663): Purim

1904(26th of Adar, 5664): Lieutenant Bendix, “a German Government engineer” and “an officer of the Bavarian Reserves” who “had been engaged on the construction of a railroad in German West Africa” was killed today “in the fight near Owikokorereo against the Herreros.”

1904: During the presidency of Isaac Wallach, the new buildings of the Mount Sinai Hospital in Madison Avenue (between 100th and 101st streets) for which $1,500,000 had been raised, were dedicated today.

1904: Ludovic Trarieux, the French political leader who served as Minister of Justice during the Dreyfus Affair where he should great courage in taking up the cause of the French military officer who was a victim of anti-Semitism and a conspiracy of right wing militarists passed away today.

1905: “Kid” Herman (Herman Landfield) knocked out former featherweight champion Dave Sullivan one month before he fought Harry Lewis.

1906: Eighty-six year old social reformer and suffragette Susan B. Anthony whose allies included Ernestine Rose, the Polish born American and English suffragette whose slogan of “Agitate, Agitate” she adopted, passed away today.

1906: It was reported today that the “anti-Jewish proclamation” issued in Russia included “a demand for the expulsion of the Jews from all the cities of European Russia and Siberia into the Pale,” “the levying” of a tax on the Jewish people “in lieu of military service,” forcing Jews to reassume their “Jewish names” if they have changed them, and the prohibition of Jews from certain professions and from higher education.

1906:  Birthdate of Oscar Nemon, the Slavonian born English sculptor, best known for his series of more than a dozen public statues of Sir Winston Churchill as well as sculptures of Harry Truman and Margaret Thatcher.  After World War II, he made sculptures of a spectacular list of high-profile figures including such war-time leaders as Dwight D. Eisenhower Earl Alexander of Tunis, Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, Lord Freyberg and Lord Beaverbrook.  He..
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March 12

515 BCE: On the secular calendar the construction of the Second Temple was completed. (Book of Ezra, 6:15 “And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.”  Darius began his reign in 522 BCE.)

604: Pope Gregory I passed away. Born in 540, Gregory was Pope from 590 until 604. The great prelate was a vigorous foe of Judaism, a religion he believed was based on depravity.  In his eyes, “the Jewish understanding of scripture was perverse.” He sought to keep Jews and Christians apart.  He forbade Christians from using Jewish doctors and would not let the clergy employee Jews as clerks.  Jews were not to hold public office, build new synagogues, marry non-Jews or convert Christians to Judaism.  But Gregory was not an unmitigated anti-Semite.  On several occasions he protected the private property and synagogue of European Jews.  One of his writings summed up the view,

“Just as it is not befitting to permit Jews in their communities to go beyond the boundaries of what is permissible by law, so also the rights they already have should not be diminished.”

1088: Urban II began his papacy during which he initiated the First Crusade, which brought death and destruction to the Jews all the way from the Rhineland to Jerusalem.

1421: In Vienna, under the auspices of Archduke Albert of Austria, a combination of murder, libel and host-desecration charges brought about the destruction of the entire Jewish community. This was partly due to the revival of the crusader spirit of the Hussite Wars. Many Jews were forcibly baptized, others took their own lives. The rest were forced to leave. Later this became known as the Wiener Gezairah (The Vienna edict).

1496: Maximilian I expelled the Jews from Styria, Austria.

1604: Today, in Mexico, during the trial of Jorge de Almeida, by the Inquisition, the prosecuting attorney testified that “the accused was a native of the city of Almeida in the Kingdom of Portugal” and that just because “efforts to arrest him have failed” “it is proper and necessary that such grave crimes as those of which Jorge de Almeida is guilty should not remain unpunished” which means “that the present prosecution and trail of Jorge de Almeida should not be stopped but on the contrary be allowed to proceed in contumaciam.”

1619: Fifty-two year old Richard Burbage who played the starring role in “The Jew of Malta” each time it was performed by the Admiral’s Men passed away today.

1664: New Jersey becomes a colony of England. A year later, New Jersey granted religious toleration to those living in the colony. While there were undoubtedly Jewish merchants operating in the colony in the 17thcentury, the honor of being the first Jews to live in the colony may go to “Aaron and Jacob Lozada, who owned a grocery and hardware store in Bound Brook as early as 1718.”

1682:  Anti-Jewish riots beak out in Krakow.

1715: Elector Max Emanuel ordered the expulsion of the few Jews still living in Bavaria, Germany.

1776: In Chevening, UK, Charles Stanhope, 3rd Earl Stanhope and Lady Hester Pitt gave birth to Lady Hester Lucy Stanhope, the eccentric English noblewoman whose “archaeological expedition to Ashkelon in 1815 is considered the first modern excavation in the history of Holy Land archeology.”

1777: During the American Revolution, Captain Lewis Bush who had transferred from the Sixth Pennsylvania Battalion to Harley’s Additional Continental Regiment was promoted to the rank of Major.

1797: Birthdate of Samuel Marum Mayer, the son of a Rabbi in Fruedental  a convert to Lutheran Christianity who marred a pastor’s daughter and became a lawyer and legal scholar.

1811(16th of Adar): Judah Leib ben Ze’ev, the first Jewish grammarian of modern times passed away

1813: Joseph “Yosef” Friedlander, a native of Austria, was in Dresden when he was kidnapped by Russian troops who hired him as a translator when they discovered that he could speak Russian

1814: Birthdate of Louis Jean Königswarter the Amsterdam native who became a leading French economist

1817: Henry Davis married Ellen Lewis at the Western Synagogue.

1817:“Czar Alexander I of Russia declared the Blood Libel -- the infamous accusation that Jews murdered Christian children to use their blood in the baking of matzah for Passover, for which thousands of Jews were massacred through the centuries -- to be false.” (Editor’s Note – based on subsequent events, this was one time that Russians did not obey their Czar)
1822: L'esule di Granata (The exile of Granada) a melodrama (opera seria) in two acts by German Jewish composer  Giacomo Meyerbeer, had its world premiere at the famed at La Scala Opera House in  Milan, Italy.

1823(29th of Adar, 5583): Thirty-nine year old Anne Emilie Solar, the wife of Moise Solar and the daughter of Abraham Furtrado, the President of the Assemblee des Notables, passed aeway today.

1824: Birthdate of Darmstadt native Heinrich Blumenthal a successful manufacturer of farm equipment and the President of Jewish Community of Darmstadt for more than twenty years.

1827(13thof Adar, 5587): Ta’anit Esther; erev Purim.

1834: Joseph David married Julia Jacobs today.

1837: Mordecai ben David married Leah bat Nathan today at the Western Synagogue.

1844: In Steele, Prussia, Israel Stein and Rosetta Kappel gave birth to Philip Stein, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin where he earned a B.A. and M.A. a member of the Milwaukee bar and the husband of Emma Stein who was elected Judge in the Superior Court of Cook Country, Illinois in 1892 and appointed to the Appellate Court in 1903.

1845: Burnett Nathan married Marian Collins today at “29 Orchard Street, Marylebone, London.”

1846(14thof Adar, 5606): Purim

1847: In Prossnitz, Moravia, Oberrabiner Hirsch B. Fassel “who had been decorated by three emperors for his literary works” and Fannie Sternfeld gave birth journalist Rosa Sonneschein who came to the United States in 1869 and was the “publisher and editor of The American Jewess.”

1852: The New York Times publishes an evaluation of the British government headed by Lord Derby which included Benjamin Disraeli as Chancellor of the Exchequer.  Disraeli’s appointment to this particular post came as a surprise and, given what the Times reporter considered his lack of aptitude for the job “his triumph will astonish the public and lead to his greater glory.”

1856: In Liszka, Hungary, Wolfe Feuerlicht and Leah Cohen gave birth to Jacob Feurlicht the husband of Rose Buxbaum, who came to the United States in 1882 and served as the rabbi at Moses Montefiore Congregation in Chicago, Gates of Prayer in Boston, Ansche Chesed in Scranton, PA and B’nai Israel in Augusta, Ga before become the Superintendent of the Jewish Hospital and Asylum in Baltimore and finally the Superintended of the Jewish Home for the Aged in Chicago.

1856: The New York Times reported that the Greene Street Synagogue has replaced Anselm Leo with a new leader from Germany who has musical skills which he has used to introduce a choir to the congregation.  No musical instruments are allowed, but a pitch pipe is used to set the tone for the choir.

1858: Birthdate of Adolph S. Ochs, publisher of the New York Times.  Ochs was the engine behind the Times rise to being the "paper of record" in the United States. Ochs is one of many American Jews who have been involved in the media giving rise to the anti-Semites' false claim that Jews control the media.  Ochs was the son of German Jews whom immigrated to the United States before the Civil War.  His life story is a classic example of that groups rise to prominence from the end of the Civil War through the start of World War II. It is obvious from reading Ochs' obituary in the New York Times that he was active in the Jewish community and quite proud of his heritage.  He was a Classical Reform Jew.  He was a trustee of Temple Emanu-El. He donated a building to the Temple in Chattanooga named for his parents.  And he raised $4,000,000 (quite a sum in 1926) for the Hebrew Union College, which had been founded by his father-in-law.  In responding to an inquiry about the keys to his success, Ochs wrote, in part, "My Jewish home life and religion gave me a spiritual uplift and a sense of responsibility to my subconscious better self --which I think is the God within me, the Unknowable and the Inexplicable.”

1862:  “The Line of the Mississippi” published today described the fortifications on both the North and South sides of the city of New Orleans.  According to travelers who have recently arrived in St. Louis from the Crescent City, the Jews are the only people in the city not “regularly enlisted” in its defense.

1862: Second Lieutenant Samuel S. Bloom of Company H resigned from the 111thRegiment today.

1862(10th of Adar II, 5622: The U.S. Congress allowed Rabbis to serve as army chaplains.

1865(14th of Adar, 5625): Purim celebrated for the last time during the Presidency of Abraham Lincoln.

1873(13th of Adar, 5633): Fast of Esther

1873: “The Palestine Lodge of the I.O. of F.S.I. will host a masque ball at the Germania Assembly Rooms” tonight in New York as part of the celebration of Purim.

1873: A Purim masquerade will be held in Brooklyn tonight at the Assembly Rooms above the Post Office.

1874: Birthdate of Edmund Samuel Eysler, the son a Viennese merchant and husband of Polodi Allnoch who gave up a career as an engineer to become a musician, composer and Kapellmeister.

1876: The annual Purim reception held at the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews located at Lexington and 63rd Street began at 11 in the morning and lasted until seven in the evening.

1876(16thof Adar, 5636): Shushan Purim observed since Shabbat was on the 15thday of Adar.

1879: In Lübeck, Rabbi Salomon Carlebach and his wife gave birth to Ephraim Carlebach, who like four of his seven brothers became a rabbi and who moved to Palestine in 1935 the year before he passed away in Ramat Gan.

1881: Birthdate of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founding father of the modern secular state of Turkey who served as its first President. In 1923, during the early days of the newly created Turkish Republic Ataturk declared, “Our country has some elements who gave the proof of their fidelity to the motherland. Among them I have to quote the Jewish element; up to now the Jews have lived in happiness and from now they will rejoice and will be happy.” Ataturk came to the aid of the Jews in the early days of Hitler’s rise to power. “In 1933 Ataturk invited to Turkey many University Professors of Jewish origin that were threatened by Nazi cruelty. The list of names is long; approximately 600 distinguished scholars took refuge in Turkey.”

1884(15thof Adar, 5644): Shushan Purim

1887: Dr. Hugh L. Wintner, the rabbi at Temple Beth Elohim in Brooklyn delivered a eulogy in memory of the late Henry Ward Beecher “at the regular Saturday morning service” in which he said that Beecher “will be remembered by the Jewish people like Mordecai of old as being a great promoter of their good, advocating their welfare and speaking peace to all of them.”

1889: Birthdate of Philip Guedalla, the Anglo-Jewish barrister and author whose quips include this one that frightens all historians or would-be historians - "History repeats itself. Historians repeat each other."

1890: The Passover Relief Association held its 18th annual Purim Masquerade Ball this evening at the Lexington Avenue Opera House.

1891: Jesse Seligman received a draft for twelve million francs from Baron Hirsch today.

1891: Birthdate of Hungarian born American scientist turned philosopher, Michael Polanyi.

1892(13thof Adar, 5652) Parashat Tetzeveh; Shabbat Zachor and Erev Purim

1893: At the Stepney Synagogue on Jersey, David Lawton, “the youngest son of the late John and Jane Lawton” married Rebecca Michaels, the youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac Michaels of Aldgate.

1893: Rabbi Adloph Radin of Shaari Tikvah was one of the speakers who addressed the crowd gathered at the hall of the Hebrew Institute where citizens were protesting the closing of the annex to Grammar School #7 on Hester Street.

1894(4thof Adar II, 5654): Ludwig August Ritter von Frankl-Hochwart passed away after leading a multi-faceted life.  Born in Boehmia in 1810, he studied Hebrew with Zecharias Frankel, earned an M.D. from the University of Pauda before moving to Vienna.  There he served as secretary and archivist of the Vienna Jewish congregation and became active in the Revolution of 1848.  He was a prolific author and philanthropist whose literary works include “Nach Jeruslem” which describe his travels to Asia, Greece and Jerusalem where he help founded a school.  And this is only the tip of the iceberg. (As reported by Singer and Mannheimer)

1894: Coca-Cola is sold in bottles for the first time. Coca-Cola was actually first introduced in 1886 at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta. Ga. Jacob’s Pharmacy was owned by Dr. Joe Jacobs who is buried in the same section of Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery as other prominent Atlanta Jews including Morris Rich, founder of Rich’s Department Store. Coke was not certified as Kosher and Kosher for Passover until 1935 thanks to the efforts of an Atlanta orthodox rabbi named Tobias Geffen.

1895: Dreyfus arrives in French Guyana.

1895: “The Rights of Clubmen” published today described the struggle between saloon owners and members of private clubs in New York.  Among the clubs that could be affected by a change in status would be the Adelphi Club, which is the leading private Jewish club in Albany.  Its members include “some of the wealthiest Jews” living in the state capital.

1896: Judge Charles P. Daly will deliver an address entitled “Songs and Song Writing” at tonight’s meeting of the Young Men’s Hebrew Association.

1896: Today’s special performance of “The Heart of Maryland” which was intended to raise funds for the Hebrew Infants’ Asylum has been postponed until the end of the month.

1896: It was reported today that “Charles Frohman has purchased a new melodrama” which he will not name but says will be produced in Boston before being brought to Broadway.

1897(8thof Adar II, 5657): Eighty-seven year old Daniel Sanders, who earned a doctorate in 1843 after studying at the universities of Berlin and Halle and who served as a school principle for ten years before pursuing a career as a German grammarian and lexicographer passed away today.

 1897: About 200 cloakmakers who are employed in the shops of contractors who work for Julius Stein & Co in Manhattan went out on strike today.

1897: The will of Elias Joseph which was filed with the Surrogate today left three bequests of $1,000 each to the Montefiore Home, Mount Sinai Hospital and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum.

1898: Sir George Henry Lewis, the well-known Jewish lawyer testified before a committee of the House of Commons that was investigating “the evils of money lending.”

1898: “Boston Announcements” published today included a description of a book of Yiddish poetry with an English translation written by Marice Rosenfeld which will be published Messrs. Copeland & Day.  The translation is being prepared by Professor Wiener of Harvard.  Jewish author Israel Zangwill and Abraham Cahan, editor of the Forwards have expressed their approval of the work.

1898: "Anti-Juif Bourguignon,” appeared today for the first time at Dijon,

1899(1st of Nisan, 5659): Rosh Chodesh Nisan

1899(1st of Nisan, 5659): Sir Julius Vogel, the first Jewish Premier of New Zealand passed away.

1899: Seventy-five year old Hannah Jacobs, a native of Poland who was the wife of Nathan Jacobs was buried today at the Bath Jewish Burial Ground.

1902: Sophia Karp, Jacob Fischel and Joseph Lateiner founder the Grand Theatre in New York which was the first theatre in New York built to serve as venue for performing Yiddish theatricals.

1904: Herzl authorizes Dr. Leopold Kahn to enter into negotiations with the Ottoman Empire for renting the administrative revenues of the Sanjak of Acre and for a loan to be obtained for the Imperial treasury.

1905: Birthdate of New Jersey native Myles S. Friedman who played center on the Syracuse University football team from 1924-1926.

1906: “Startling reports of the condition and future of Russia’s 6,000,000 Jews were made” today “in Berlin to the annual meeting of the Central Jewish Relief League by Germany by Dr. Paul Nathan…who has returned from an extensive trip through Russia as the special emissary of Jewish philanthropists in England, America and Germany to arrange for distribution of the relief fund of $1,500,000 raised after the massacres last Autumn.”

1906: Solomon Schechter and Louis Marshall are among the speakers scheduled to speak at this evening’s dinner “for the faculty, students, directors and officers of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America on 123rd Street and Broadway.

1908: Birthdate of David Saul Marshall. Born in Singapore to an Orthodox family that had come from Iraq, Marshall was trained as a lawyer.  After World War II he became leader of the Labour Front political party and in 1955 became the first Chief Minister of Singapore.

1909: In Sophia, Bulgaria, The Medical Congress decided to print brochures in Ladino. The decision was in response to a request from a Christian Delegate who asked that this be done for the benefit of Jews unfamiliar with the Bulgarian language.

1910: At the first meeting of the sub-committee on laws of the Civic Federation’s Committee on Compensation for Industrial Accidents “letters were received from Louis Brandeis of Boston giving suggestions the establishment of an accident insurance system” designed to provide relief for workers injured on the job.

1911: Vera Cheberiak, leader of a group of thieves in Kiev, makes plans to have Andrei Yustschinski murdered.  His murder will touch off the infamous Mendel Bellis Case.

1914(14thof Adar, 5674): Last Purim before the outbreak of WW I.

1914: Birthdate of Irwin “King Kong” Klein, the Younkers native who was an All American football player at New York University and who led the NYU basketball team to a 16-0 as a sophomore in 1934 and then to a 19 and 1 record  the following season which led “to the Helms National Championship.”

1915: General Sir John Grenfell Maxwell met with a delegation headed by Jabotinsky to discuss the formation of a “Jewish fighting unit” in the British Army. “The General said he was unable, under the Army Act, to enlist foreign nationals as fighting troops, but that he could form them into a volunteer transport Mule Corps.”

1915: As of today, the fund of the American Jewish Relief Committee for Suffers from the War has collected $555, 3119.19

1916: According to a report tonight by H.E. Adelman, the Secretary of the Hebrew Free Burial Association at the annual meeting at the Uptown Talmud Torah, “in the last year 1,253 people were buried by the association” including “353 buried from their homes, 218 from Bellevue Hospital and the morgue, 651 from other institutions, 28 from outside” of New York City and 3 disinterments from Jewish cemeteries.

1916: The National Union for Jewish Rights held its first meeting this afternoon in London. The Anglo-Jewish community formed the organization to secure the rights of the Jews at the end of the World War. Lucien Wolf and Israel Zangwill addressed the group.  Zangwill said that “if England got Palestine” he “hoped a Jewish governor would be appointed.

1916: Pianist Vera Kaplun-Aronson and soprano Mrs. George Halperin are scheduled to perform this afternoon at “the 19th regular Sunday afternoon concert…at the Chicago Hebrew Institute.

1916: Rabbi Wolf Gold of the Third Street Synagogue opened the convention today in Sonia Hall where “more than 400 delegates from Jewish societies in Brooklyn” met “to consider plans for the proposed Jewish Congress and to elect delegates to the preliminary conference” to be held later this month in Philadelphia.

1916: This afternoon Rabbi Max Reichler and Cantor Morris Schrager officiated at the dedication ceremonies of “the new Temple of the Sinai Congregation of the Bronx a Stebbins Avenue and East 163rd Street” which “were attended by nearly 1,000 including the 125 members of the temple.”

1916: Today The Day, the Jewish daily newspaper edited by Herman Bernstein published the following cablegram from a special correspondent in Berne.  “I have learned from an absolutely reliable source that the Pope has prepared an important document of great interest to the Jewish people.  It is understood that this document will prove of the same importance and significance as the bull issued by Pope Innocent IV denouncing the ritual murder accusations against the Jews as false and based upon a cruel legend. The present statement by the Pope, who has interested himself so deeply in peace is devoted to the sorrows of the Jews in the belligerent lands and contains a plea for justice and fairness to the Jews.” [The article referred to Pope Benedict XV.]

1917: During the Russian Revolution, the Duma elected a “provisional committee” which was effectively a new executive branch for the Russian government that would replace the Czar.  The apparent triumph of these social democrats offered hope (ultimately false hope) for the Jews of Russia that revolution would lead to liberation.

1917: At 11:00 a.m. Dr. Enelow is scheduled to speak on “The Jewish Messiah Idea and Jesus” followed by the daily noon service.

1918: Following the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, today Erzurm returned to Turkish control which may have given the Ottomans hope that they would regain control of the rest of their Empire including Palestine.

1919: Louis Marshal, President of the Executive Committee of the American Jewish Committee and Dr. Cyrus Adler, the chairman of the committee left today aboard Caronia as they began their voyage to the Peace Conference at Paris.

1920: Birthdate of Roland Lorent a member of the anti-Nazi Ehrenfeld Group who was hanged in 1944.

1921: The Histadrut (General Federation of Labor) passed a resolution to establish the Haganah.  Haganah, (literally "defense") was established for the purpose stated in its name.  It was organized to protect the Jewish settlements from Arab attacks - something the British could..
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