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July 16

622: The Prophet Mohammed begins his Hijra from Mecca to Medina. This marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar.  The importance of this to Jewish history should require no explanation.

1099: As the Crusaders sacked Jerusalem, they burned an untold number of Jewish scrolls and books.  According to Matti Friedman, the Christian soldiers spared the some of the texts with the hope that Jews in other communities would ransom them.  Among these books was the Aleppo Codex. [For more on this topic see The Aleppo Codex by Matti Friedman]

1212: In Spain, an Almohades Army was defeated by a coalition of Catholic forces at The Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa,. The Almohades were a puritanical Moslem sect that had taken control of the southern portion of the Iberian Peninsulas. As can be seen by their attack on the Jewish community of Castille during which they seized the Codes Hilleli, a 600 year old Biblical manuscript considered to be the oldest Hebrew copy of the Bible in Spain and the decision of the family of Maimonides to leave Spain rather than live under their rule, the Almohades did not practice the policies of religious acceptance attributed to other Islamic sects at this time.  At the time the Christian victory seemed liked a plus for the Jews of Spain.  However, this proved to be illusory since the victory was a major step in The Reconquista – the uniting of Spain under Christian monarchs which would culminate with the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492.

1216: Pope Innocent III, a prelate who had an inimical effect on the Jewish people died. He presided over the Fourth Lateran Council which among other things which enacted a series of anti-Semitic canons including those that required the Jews to wear a distinctive badge on their clothing and to pay for unfunded Christian tithes. Other banned Jews from holding public office and denied Jews who had converted to Christianity the right to return to the faith of their fathers.  In 1215 the Fourth Lateran Council, called by Pope Innocent III, decreed that, on the basis of Numbers 15:37-41, Jews should wear distinctive dress (a restriction also applied to Saracens and later to heretics, prostitutes and lepers. In addition, a distinctive mark was imposed on their clothing -- centuries before the Nazis' Yellow Star -- the badge of shame, the shape and color of which varied from country to country. The badge of shame made Jews social outcasts, exposing them to both physical and verbal abuse.

1391: Valencia's King Pedro IV ordered that all Jews who had hidden in Christian houses were to be allowed to return to their homes unmolested. Furthermore he decreed that synagogues were not to be turned into churches. This did not prevent him from personably confiscating all the property of those Jews who had either been murdered or fled.

1547: Pope Paul II issued Meditatio Cordis a Bull that brought the Inquisition to Portugal establishing offices in Lisbon, Evora, Coimbra, and even in Goa. (From The History of the Jewish People)

1588: Negotiations between the Spanish and the English broke off and the English fleet at Plymouth prepared to do battle against the Spanish Armada as soon as its location could be ascertained.  Victory for the Spanish would be a disaster for the Jews since it would mean an end to the haven in Protestant Holland and the spread of the Inquisition to the British Isles.

1782: First performance of Mozart's opera The Abduction from the Seraglio. Seventeen eighty-two also marked the beginning of  the relationship between Mozart and Lorenzo da Ponte, the son of a Jewish convert who had trained as a priest. Together, they co-produced such classics as "The Marriage of Figaro", "Don Giovanni" and "Cosi fan tutte".

1775: Marie Elizabeth Louise Dubois, a native of Canada, and Ezekiel Solomon gave birth to Ezekiel Solomon, Jr.

1790: The District of Columbia is established as the capital of the United States after the signing of the Residence Act. Isaac Pollock, the grandson of one of the founders of the Newport Jewish community, reportedly arrived in D.C. in 1795 making him the city’s first Jewish resident. [For more information about the Washington Jewish Community see Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington http://www.jhsgw.org/ ]

1793(7thof Av, 5553): Catherine “Kitty” Solomons who was married in the Great Synagogue in 1792 passed away today.

1815: Birthdate of Wolf Alois Meisel, the native of Roth-Janowitz who became a leading Hungarian rabbi despite his father’s conversion to Christianity.

1823: Birthdate of Gerson Wolf, the native of Holleschau, Moravia, the “Austrian historian and educator” whose involvement in the political upheavals of 1848 and 1849 almost cost him his career.

1825(1stof Av, 5585): Rosh Chodesh Av

1825(1stof Av, 5585): Ephraim Hart, one of the founders of the New York Stock Exchange, passed away today.  Born in Furth, Bavaria, he served as a private in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. While living in Philadelphia, he joined Mickvé Israel in 1782 and married Frances Noah, sister of Manuel Noah in the following year.  By 1787, he hand moved to New York where his success as a businessman led to him being one of the founders of the Board of Stock Brokers in 1792.

1829: Birthdate Graziadio Isaiah Ascoli, a native of Austria who was the “godfather” of all Italian philologists.


1831: Birthdate of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, the King of Persia who employed Jakob Eduard Polak as his personal physician for 5 years.

1832: Henry Clay, the Senator from Kentucky, wrote a letter to Solomon Etting a Jewish businessman from Baltimore, MD.  Etting had written a letter to Clay complaining about the Senator’s derogatory use of the term “Jew.”  In his letter, Clay apologized since his use of the term Jew was intended to describe one person name either Moses Meyers or Meyer Moses and was not used to cast aspiration on the Jewish people. Clay claimed that he judged people as individuals and he was sure that there were individual Jews, Christians and Moslems who were bad people.  Furthermore, Clay claimed to have many Jewish friends and acquaintances including the Gratz’s of Lexington, KY who are relatives of the Gratz family of Philadelphia, PA.

1836: Birthdate of German physiologist Isidor Rosenthal.

1837: In Vienna, Jonas Königswarter and his wife gave birth to Moritz Königswarter the banker whose services to the Emperor earned him “the cross of the Order of Francis.

1841(28thof Tammuz): Moshe Teitelbaum, the Rebbe of Ujhely in Hungary passed away today.  Born in 1759 he also was known as the Yismach Moshe,(Moses Rejoiced)  which was also the name of text containing homilies on the Torah which was first published in 1849. Some of his descendants became leaders of the Satmar Chassidim.

1843(18thof Tammuz, 5603): Tzom Tammuz observed

1848: Today, the Hebrew Education Society of Philadelphia was formally organized, with Solomon Solis as its first president.

1855(1st of Av, 5615): Rosh Chodesh Av

1856: Samuel Belasco married Hannah Isaacs at the Bevis Marks Synagogue today.

1858: "Progress of Liberal Ideas in England" published today stated that The Jew Bill, which has so often met its fate at the portals of the House of Lords, has at last managed to secure a majority of forty-six on a second reading, and all doubt as to its ultimate triumph may now be considered at an end. No measure, since the Reform bill, has met with so many reverses, and has had so little reason arrayed against it.

1859: In Albany, Oregon, Bohemian natives Jacob Fleischner and Fanny Nadler gave birth to Isaac Newton Fleishner,  an 1878 graduate of St. Augustine’s College, a partner in Fleischner, Mayer & Company, “the largest wholesale dry goods house on the Pacific coast” and President of the local B’nai B’rith Lodge who married Tessie Goslinsky with whom he had two daughters.

1859: Moses and Esther Lazarus gave birth to the their Annie Lazarus who would become Annie Humphrey Johnston when she married John Henry Johnstone

1862: After having lived in England for 25 years, Louis Lowe a father of five who “had presided over the Board School for Jewish Boys since 1861” “wore the Oath of Allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Victoria.”

1863: “In Bielitz, Austrain Silesia, Bertha Jager and Salomon Blumenfeld, gave birth to their youngest child concert pianist Fannie Bloomfield Zeisler, the wife of Sigmund Zeisler, the graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law who served as “co-counsel in the trial of the Haymarket Riot ‘anarchists.’”



1863: During the Civil War, the New Draft Riots, during which “General William Mayer” performed “heroic service for which he received” a letter of thanks from President Lincoln, came to an end.

1863: During the American Civil War, Jacob C. Cohen who was serving with the 27thOhio Infantry wrote to the Jewish Messenger from Memphis, Tennessee.


1865: In Carlsbad, Austria, Alexander and Cecilie (Oesterrich) Pam gave birth to Max Pam who came to the United State in 1858 where served as counsel to U.S. Steel and was a benefactor of both to a Catholic University (Notre Dame) and Hebrew University.


1865: Rabbi Samuel Marx Levi (Mordechai) and Eva (Chaje) Moses Lewuw gave birth to Esther Marx, the wife of businessman Gabriel Kosel and the aunt of Karl Marx.

1866: During the Third Italian war of Independence Lt. Colonel Enrico Guastalla (Isaac Michael Benedict) and “deputy chief of the General Staff of the Italian Volunteer Corps” served with such distinction at the Battle of Condino today that he “was decorated with the Cross of the Order of Savoy.

1874: In Cleveland, Ohio, the Council of American Hebrews heard the report of the Committee on Theological Institute which presented the laws for the organization and governance of an institution of higher learning which will be called the Hebrew Union College which is “to be permanently located in Cincinnati.”

1879(25thof Tammuz, 5639): Italian politician and journalist Giacomo Dina passed away.  Born into poverty in 1824 at Turin, he became a teacher before founding Opinione, a journal that he edited for 30 years and used as a springboard to serving in the Parliament as deputy from Imola, Bologna.

1880: It was reported today that the National Rabbinical Association has elected Dr. Max Lilienthal as its President and chosen Chicago as the location for its meeting in 1881.

1880: “Not A Hebrew After All” published today described the confusion over the ethnic origins of an unidentified body found on the Newark, NJ Turnpike near Hackensack. Since the undertaker reported him to be Jewish, the Jews of Hoboken, NJ took up a collection to provide him with a decent burial.  After finding out that this was not the case, the Jews asked the undertaker to return the money. He refused and told them that they would have to sue him.

1882: “Trouble in a Synagogue” published today described the impact of the addition of some prayers in English at the St. Constant Street Jewish Synagogue in Montreal.  Police were stationed in the synagogue during services after some members who were upset by the change threatened to cause trouble.

1882: As of today, there were 250,000 Jews living in the United States.  Sixty thousand of them live in New York and another 14,000 live in Brooklyn.  San Francisco, with a population of 16,000 and St. Louis with a population of 6,500 are the only two cities found in a list of 20 cities with the largest Jewish populations.  New Orleans, with a population of 5,000 Jews is the only Southern city found in this same list. Cincinnati, the home of Reform Judaism has a Jewish population of 8,000. With a total population of over 80,000, New York State had the largest population while at the other end of the spectrum, the Dakota Territories were home to only 19 Jews.

1882: A young Jewish woman named Rudolpha Leischinsky who had come to New York from Europe several months again was taken to the Castle Garden Hospital today shortly before she had attempted to commit suicide by cutting her throat.

1882: As the Freight Handler’s Strike continues in New York, five hundred dollars will be given to the Jews today who have stopped working and joined the strikers.

1882. The Committee of Persuasion, made up of striking freight handlers sent out representatives to various ethnic groups, including the Jews, to convince them to join the strikers.  The representatives are fluent in the language to the particular group to which they are appealing.

1884: Lazarus Lemisch, his wife and five children arrived in New York aboard the SS Amerique. Their passage had been paid for by the Hebrew Relief Society of Paris.

1884: Russian Jewish Markus Holz, Gerson Selkowitz, Adolph Lazarus and Samuel Rasenzweig and their family members who arrived from Hamburg yesterday are being held Ward’s Island from which they will be shipped back to Europe because they do not meet the requirements to show they will not become public charges.

1884: It was reported today that a young un-named Jew has openly embraced Christianity at the Boston Industrial Home.  This is believed to the first time in the history of Boston that a Jew has responded directly to conversion attempts by Christian missionaries. [The Boston Industrial Home may refer to a rescue mission]

1885: The will of Edward J. King was admitted to probate today.  Among the bequests were $2,000 to Mount Sinai Hospital; $1,000 in cash and $2,000 in bonds to the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum; $2,000 to the Home for Aged and Infirm Hebrews of New York; $2,000 to the United Hebrew Charities; $500 to Congregation B’nai Jeshrun; $500 to be held in trust by the congregation, the income of which is used to pay the expenses to maintain the testators cemetery plot.  The bulk of the estate went to King’s wife, sons and son-in-law.

1885: Birthdate of Austrian historian and archaeologist Robert von Heine-Geldern, a grandnephew of Heinrich Heine.

1886: Birthdate of Salt Lake City native Clarence Bamberger, the husband of Marie Bamberger and father Clarence “Click” Bamberger, who was part of “a pioneering Utah mining and railroad family” and the nephew of Utah governor Simon Bamberger, the first non-Mormon to hold the position.

1887: As of today, the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children had raised $1,944 to provide free summer excursions for poor Jewish children and their mothers.

1887: Berthold Riese was being held in the Jefferson Market Police Court on charges of abandoning his wife.  Riese, who is Jewish, claimed that he had never married the woman because she had never divorced her first husband, John T. Kennedy.  The woman in question is a Catholic who claims they were married by a Lutheran minister as an act of religious compromise.

1887: In New York, Simon Kleber and Judah Waser, two Jewish peddlers, have filed a complaint against Frederick Timme, a police officer stationed at the 14thPrecinct.  According to the complaint the two men were attacked by a bartender when they went into a liquor store to sell their wares.  When they were driven into the street, they called out to the policeman for help.  He responded by clubbing them and driving them away.  This was not the first complaint filed against this police officer. [Note – charges of police brutality by immigrants are something that have survived into the 21stcentury; the only change is in the immigrant group.]

1890: It was reported today that as part of the Russian government’s new “stringent measures against the Jews, the newspaper Novostihas been “suppressed” and the editor has been ordered to leave the country

1891: The large number of Russian Jews who arrived in Montreal yesterday have been found to be “poor people in a sickly condition.”

1892: The School of Applied Ethics under the leadership of Dr. Felix Adler is holding classes today at the Old High School Building on Main Street in Plymouth, MA.

1893: It was reported today that “the story about the Grand Duke Michael personally saving the Jews of the Caucasus from expulsion may be dismissed as apocryphal” since the Grand Duke has little influed with the Czar and this region has been “exempted from the anti-Jewish edicts” enforced in other parts of the empire.

1893: It was reported today that while the number of anti-Semites in the Reichstag has been growing, in a strange twist, a Jew has been elected to the Town Council of Rostock which was one of the last cities in Germany “to abrogate the medieval laws against the Jews.”

1893: Between July 3 and today, “nearly 2,000 mothers and children” have enjoyed “a day’s outing at the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children at Rockaway Park.

1893: At the Essex Market Police Court, Police Justice Ryan “remitted the ten dollar fine he had imposed on 25 year old Morris Goodman’ who had been arrested on charges “obstructing the sidewalk” and assault, after he delivered a talk on his view of Jews whom he feels do not respect the law and the rights of Christians.

1893: The Jew of Yalta “refused to obey the decree to” leave the Crimean city and move to the Pale.

1893: The delegates from the Hebrew Typographical Union complained that Joseph Barondess and Samuel Gompers had tried to get some of their members from an office where they were working as printers.

1894: Two days after he had passed away, 54 year old Henry Silver, the son of Samuel and Priscilla Silver and the husband of Sarah Nathan with whom he had seven children – Pricilla, Kate, Hannah, Sam, John, Lewis and Fanny – was buried today at the West Ham Jewish Cemtery.

1894: It was reported today that Herman Ahlwardt has composed a pamphlet while serving time in prison that is “so rabidly anti-Semitic as to suggest the insanity of the author.”

1894: The Baltimore Sun reported today that a Judge Dennis has signed a decree giving Jacob and Henry Herman to the right to remove the bodies of their parents from the cemetery of Shearith Israel so that they could be re-interred at the cemetery of the Baltimore Hebrew Congregation.

1894: “Mr. Straus Has A New Plan” published today described the success of the 14 depots selling low-cost sterilized and modified milk and the benefit that sick children have enjoyed from drinking the sterilized beverage.  Nathan Straus is so pleased with the results that he has commissioned plans for a year-round depot for which construction will begin this fall.

1897: Herzl publishes his article "Protest rabbiner" - "Protest Rabbis" in the German newspaper, “"Die Welt.”  The Protest Rabbis refers to western Rabbis who were opposed to Zionism. 

1897(16th of Tammuz, 5657): Emanuel Rich, co-founder of Rich’s Department Store, passed away.

1897(16thof Tammuz, 5657): Sixty-eight year old German jurist and lawyer Levin Goldschmidt passed away today.

1898: “The Numbering of Houses” published today described the role of the Jews in the introduction of house numbers in London.

1899: “Slavonic and Semitic Books” published today described the growth of the Jewish Department of the New York Public Library which now contains over 4,000 volumes in modern and ancient languages including Yiddish.”

1899(9th of Av, 5659): Tish'a B'Av

1899: “The Marquise de Mores has addressed an appeal to the Criminal Chamber of the Cour de Cassaction” in which she charges that there were serious errors made in the investigation of the death of her husband Marquis de Mores by the Court in Algiers. Her husband, an officer in the French Army, was a vocal anti-Semite who had befriended those who framed Dreyfus and instigated duels in which he killed at least one Jewish officer.  Ironically, the Marquise’s maiden name was Mendora von Hoffman, the daughter of Louis von Hoffman a prominent Jewish banker.

1899: “Contribution to a Poor Family” published today described the efforts of the United Hebrew Charities of the City of New York to raise $400 settle a family of four in the country because the husband and wife have become “chronic invalids through overwork in the city.”

1899: Birthdate of comedian and movie director Larry Semon who appeared with Laurel and Hardy and in the 1920’s directed the silent screen version of “The Wizard of Oz.”

1901: Birthdate of Austrian born composer and conductor Frtiz Mahler, the son of a “professor of Oriental Languages who was also a cousin of composer of Gustav Mahler.




1903: The British Foreign Office sent a second telegram to Herzl informing him that his idea to establish a Jewish settlement in the Sinai as first step towards establishing a Jewish homeland in Eretz Israel was not practical.

1905: Sixty-one year old Major General Sir Henry Trotter, who as the General Officer Commanding the Home District attended a “public display” in 1909 of the Jewish Lads Brigade, “the UK’s oldest Jewish youth movement founded by Colonel Albert E.W. Goldsmid” with a goal, in part of helping the children of poor immigrants assimilate into British society passed away today.

1905: When Commander Robert Peary left New York today aboard the SS Roosevelt, in the latest attempt to reach the North Pole, his crew included the surgeon Dr. Louis J. Wolff of Silverton, Oregon who had given up his work at the Cornell Dispensary and the Bellevue Dispensary to serve as the medical officer for the expedition.

1906: Birthdate of Abraham Orovitz, the native of Vienna, Georgia who gained fame as director and actor Vincent Sherman.

1907: The will of the late Isidor Worsmer was filed with the Surrogate today.  Among the bequests left by the successful banker were $5.000 to Temple Emanu-El; $2,500 to both the Mount Sinai Hospital and the United Hebrew Charities Association; $1,000 to the Roman Catholic Orphan Asylum, the Montefiore Home, the Hebrew Technical Institute, the Educational Alliance and the Tuskegee Institute.  The rest of the sizable estate was left to family members and employees of I & S Wormser.  [Contributions to non-Jewish institutions were par for the course.  The surprise here is the contribution to Tuskegee, the newly established institution for African-Americans headed by Booker T...
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July 15

763 BCE: Forty-one years before their conquest of Israel, the Assyrians observe and record a solar eclipse which is the basis for much of the dating of activities in the Fertile Crescent, including Eretz Israel, prior to the seventh century BCE (As reported by Austin Cline)

1099: Godfrey de Bouillon entered Jerusalem, drove all the Jews into the synagogue, and set them afire while he marched around the synagogue singing, "Christ, we adore thee". This marked the end of Jerusalem as a Jewish center for centuries, although Jews did return in limited numbers after the Moslem reconquest in 1187. It is estimated that between 20,000 and 30,000 Jews were massacred or captured and sold as slaves in Italy.

                                                OR (You pick the version)

1099: The crusaders final assault on Jerusalem was successful and the city was sacked. This was in keeping with the general rule that, if a fortified place did not surrender, it might be sacked and its inhabitants killed or enslaved. Although there was considerable bloodshed in Jerusalem, , recent research has demonstrated that crusade leaders intervened to protect some of the inhabitants, including Muslims and Jews. Among those who took this step was Godfrey of Bouillon. Some Muslims and Jews were slaughtered, but some were escorted to Muslim territory.

1174: Baldwin IV was crowned King of Jerusalem.  Graetz claims that the Leperous King was the one who banned the Jews from Jerusalem.  That honor should go to his father who took the throne in 1162 and the ban began in 1165 and last until 1175. Since Baldwin was only 13 at the time of his coronation credit for lifting the ban probably should go to the Raymond III of Tripoli, the regent who negotiated a treaty with Saladin.

1205: Pope Innocent III laid down the principle that Jews were doomed to perpetual servitude and subjugation because they had crucified Jesus. This classic charge of deicide was officially removed in 1963.

1291: King Rudolf I, who had negated the freedom of Jews of Germany by declaring them servi camerae ("serfs of the treasury") in 1286, passed away today.

1389: Murad I is killed following the Ottoman defeat of the Christians at the Battle of Kosovo also known as the Battle of Blackbird’s Field. Murad had allowed Jews fleeing Hungary to settle in Thrace and Anatolia so his death was a net loss for them. (While it is not a matter of Jewish History, memories of this battle would resurface at the end of the 20th century when Moslems and Christians squared off in the Balkan Wars following the dissolution of Yugoslavia)

1567: Not for the first time, nor for the last time, the Jews were expelled from the entire Republic of Genoa today.

1572 (5332) Isaac Luria passed away.  There is no way this simple guide can do justice to the life of this giant of Judaism.  For those who are interested, here are two places to begin: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/111878/jewish/Rabbi-Isaac-Luria-The-Ari-Hakodosh.htm


1606:  Birthdate of the Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn. Rembrandt lived in a Jewish quarter in Amsterdam. He often depicted Jewish people on his canvases. One of his most famous paintings is styled “Moses Breaking the Tablets of the Law.” There are several special events planned to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt’s and many of them highlight his special relationship with the Dutch Jewish community.  For more on this subject, you might want to read the recently published Rembrandt’s Jews by Steven Nadler.

1629: A clerical commission meeting today to look into the guilt of Yom-Tov Heller “asked him how he dared to eulogize the Talmud after it had been burned by papal order” – a charge which he could not answer to the commission’s satisfaction which to his being condemned to death.

1631: Birthdate of Richard Cumberland, the Bishop of Peterborough who was the  author of “An essay towards the recovery of the Jewish measures & weights, comprehending their monies, by help of ancient standards, compared with ours of England useful also to state many of those of the Greeks and Romans, and the eastern nations.”

1694: The Jesuits, who were opposed to the printing efforts of Shabbethai ben Joseph Bass, “sent a letter to the magistrate of Breslau to have the sale of Hebrew books interdicted on the ground that such works contained "blasphemous and irreligious words"

1738(27thof Tammuz, 5498): Baruch Laibov and Alexander Voznitzin were burnt alive in St. Petersburg, Russia, with the consent of Empress Anna Johanova. Voznitzin, a naval captain, was guilty of the crime of converting to Judaism. Laibov was guilty of helping him. http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=346&letter=B

1790: Members of Kahal Kadosh Beth Elohim of the Jewish Congregation of Charleston wrote a letter to congratulate the President of the United States George Washington on the occasion of the establishment of a federal government.

1799: The Rosetta Stone is found in the Egyptian village of Rosetta by French Captain Pierre-François Bouchard during Napoleon's Egyptian Campaign. The discovery of the Stone helped to fuel interest in archaeology, including what would become the field of modern Biblical archaeology.

1799: Birthdate of Samuel Bleichröder the Jewish banker who worked with the Rothschilds and who was the father of Gerson von Bleichröder and Julius Bleichröder who followed in their father’s footsteps.

1801: In what might seem like a weakening of the position of French Jews, Napoleon signs a Concordat that recognizes Catholocism as the religion of “the great majority of Frenchmen.”

1808: A day after she had passed away, Elizabeth Town, the daughter of Benjamin Town was buried today at the Brady Street Jewish Cemetery,

1815(9thof Av, 5575):  Tisha B’Av

1815(9thof Av, 5575): The Chozen of Lublin (The Seer of Lublin) passed away.  Born Yaakov Yitzchak in 1745, he was a leading Polish Chasidc Rebbe.

1815: Napoleon Bonaparte surrenders for the final TIME aboard HMS Bellerophon. Having learned their lesson from Napoleon’s escape from captivity following his first surrender, the conquering European powers exile him to St. Helena where he will live out his days.  This final surrender seems to mark the return of the Ancien Regime to Europe in general and France in particular.  The forces of reaction will try and undo the gains in liberty made by the Jews of Europe.

1818: In Savannah, GA, Levy Hart married Abigail Minis Sheftall, the youngest daughter of the last Levy Sheftall.

1818: Abraham and Clara Moses were married today at the Great Synaogue.

1818: Mosely (Moshe) Woolf and Hannah Woolf gave birth to Cecilia Woolf who became Cecilia Marks when she married David Marks.

1832: Solomon Etting, a Jewish citizen of Baltimore, MD, wrote a letter to Henry Clay, the U.S. Senator from Kentucky, saying that he other co-religionists “feel both surprised and hurt by the manner in which you introduced the expression ‘the Jew’ in debated in the Senate of the United States, evidently applying it as a reproachful designation of a man whom you considered obnoxious in character and conduct.” Since Ettinger did not know the man in question and since he assumes that Clay has no “antipathy” for the Jewish people, he asked that Clay write to him why he had used this particular expression in this particular manner.

1834: The child-Queen Isabella's mother, Christina, issued an official and final edict abolishing the Inquisition in Spain. The words read, "It is declared that the Tribunal of the Inquisition is definitely suppressed. The Inquisitions had been in place for nearly three and one half centuries.

1836: In Michelfeld, thirty-seven year old Marx Oppenheimer and his second wife Sarah gave birth to Karoline Levy.

1838: Ralph Waldo Emerson delivers the Divinity School Address at Harvard Divinity School, discounting Biblical miracles and declaring Jesus a great man, but not God. The Protestant community reacts with outrage. This was not the first or last time that Emerson would express views on religion that were out of step with prevailing Christian views. In describing the Last Supper, Emerson states “Jesus is a Jew sitting with a countrymen celebrating their national feast.”  Jesus’ Jewishness would not become an accepted tenant of many Christian beliefs until the second half of the twentieth century.

1843: Birthdate of Indiana native William W. Morrow who as a Congressman from California who would champion the cause of Adolph Kutner, the Russian born American businessman who was afraid to return to his native land because of the Czar’s policies regarding Jews.

1850: Birthdate of Amalia Loeb who was buried in the Jewish Cemetery a Morgan City, LA.

1853: In Bangor, Main, Julius Spitz and Julia Wolf gave birth to Nancy Spirtz, the director of the Leopold Morse Home, the Hebrew Women’s Sewing Society and honorary director of the Federation of Jewish Charities who is the wife of Godfrey J. Spitz

1854: The Israelite, the first Jewish newspaper published in Cincinnati, Ohio, was established today. This English language newspaper was founded by Rabbi Isaac Mayer Wise, the “founding father” of Reform Judaism in America whose other “firsts” included the creation of the Hebrew Union College.

1854: A letter from E.R. McGregor, the Editor of the Jewish Chronicle was published today in which he takes issue with the Times report that a U.S. citizen named Jones has been guilty of selling pieces of ancient columns and other such items to unsuspecting tourists in Jerusalem  According to McGregor Jones is a “Christian and a gentlemen” who was sent to Palestine by the American Society for Meliorating the Condition of the Jews (A.S.M.C. Jew) to examine the feasibility of establishing “agricultural colonies and schools for the benefit of the Jews and others residing in the country.” James Finn, the British Consul in Jerusalem, is the source of the negative stories about Mr. Jones.  According to McGregor, Finn is responsible for large losses connected with land near Bethlehem that was supposed to be purchased with American funds for the purpose of creating an agricultural colony. (Editor’s note – Other sources describe Finn  as “a  devout Christian, who belonged to the London Society for Promoting Christianity Amongst the Jews, but who did not engage in missionary work during his years” as British Consul in Jerusalem. According to these sources, Finn bought a piece of land outside of the Old City that he turned into an agricultural training facility for Jews. Finally, he bought land, at a place called Artas near Bethlehem where employed otherwise impoverished Jews as laborers.  Further research is obviously necessary.)

1856: Birthdate of Charles Frohman, the native of Sandusky Ohio, one of the three Frohman brothers, who became a noted Broadway impresario who co-founded the Theatrical Syndicate.

1860: In Cologne, Albert Oppenheim, a member of the Jewish banking family who had converted to Catholicism and his wife Pauline Engels gave birth to Max von Oppenheim.

1862: Birthdate of Frank Putnam Flint, the U.S. Senator from California who supported efforts to get the Governor of Georgia to commute the death sentence of Leo Frank.

1869: In New York City, Adolph Tuska and Elise Robitscher gave birth to “consulting engineer” Gustave R. Tuska, a graduate of CCNY and Columbia and husband of Isabel Pappenheimer who filled severed as chief engineer for the Panama R.R. Co, the Atlantic Construction Co. and the American Power Co. as well as Director of the Hebrew Technical Institue

1870: In Cleveland, Ohio, Rabbi Max Lienthal of Cincinnati Ohio, presented the following resolutions to a meeting of rabbis from across the nation who adopted them unanimously.

Whereas, In consideration of the religious commotion now agitating the public mind in both hemispheres, in accordance with the principles of Judaism it is unanimously declared:

1.       Because with unshaken faith and firmness we believe in one indivisible and eternal God; we also believe in the common Fatherhood of God and the common brotherhood of men.

2.       We glory in the sublime doctrine of our religion, which teaches that the righteous of all nations, without distinction of creed, will enjoy eternal life and everlasting happiness.

3.       The divine command, the most sublime passage of the Bible “Thou shalt love thy fellow man as thyself,” extends to the entire human family without distinction of either race or creed.

4.       Civil and religious liberty, and hence the separation of Church and State, are the inalienable rights of man, we consider them to be the brightest gems in the Constitutions of the United States.

5.       We love and revere this country as our home and fatherland for us and our children, and therefore consider it our paramount duty to sustain and support the Government, to favor by all means the system of free education leaving religious instruction to the care of the different denominations.

6.       We expect the universal elevation and fraternization of the human family to be achieved by the natural means of science, morality, freedom, justice and truth.

According to the attendees, “these resolution…clearly express…the religious and political creed of Judaism.”

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

1877: “Protection for Jews in Palestine”  published today included the text of a letter from the Acting Secretary of State to Meyer S. Isaacs, President of the Board of Delegates of American Israelites.  The letter was in response to a request from Mr. Isaacs seeking American protection for Russian Jews living in and around Jerusalem from abuse by the Ottoman authorities.  Mr. Seward explained that normally, the U.S. government only provides protection for its own citizens living abroad.  He conceded that the United States has a reputation for helping oppressed people in foreign countries; but that help can only be provided if all of the parties involved go through proper diplomatic channels. 

1877: Sixty-one year old Isaac Phillips, the husband of Julia Hyman with whom he had two children –Esther and Rebecca – and who was “one of the founders of the Jewish Female Mourning Society” was buried today at the West Ham Jewish Cemetery.

1877: The Jewish Messenger reported that Secretary of State Seward had sent a letter to Meyer S. Isaacs, President of the Board of Delegates of Israelites in response to his letter of June 4 asking that the United States help provide protection for Jews from Russia living in and around Jerusalem. Speaking in that unique language of diplomats, Seward told Isaacs that the U.S. usually only extends such protection to its own citizens living abroad.  But he assured him that the United States was sympathetic to “all the oppressed peoples in foreign countries” and would act accordingly within the spirit of “international courtesy and diplomatic usage…The desired protection will be extended if these conditions are complied with.”  [This was one of the first times that American Jews had asked the United States government to intervene on behalf of their co-religionists living in Eretz-Israel.  Seward’s understated reply was more potent than it might appear.  He was a real power in the Republican having served as a U.S. Senator and having been a serious candidate for the Presidency in 1860.  Also, he had actually visited Palestine in the years prior to the Civil War so he had a firsthand knowledge of the area and the Ottomans who ruled it .

1877: Union of Hebrew Congregations completed its meeting in Philadelphia, PA. Several speeches were delivered in favor of having all the Jews in the United States represented by one national organization. The delegates agreed to hold their next meeting in July of 1878 at Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1877: “The English Jews in Politics,” published today reprinted the views of Goldwin Smith that originally appeared in theFort-nightly Review. According to Smith, the Jews supported the Liberal Party until they gained full rights (including the change in oath that made it possible for them to sit in Parliament) and then they “gravitated toward the party of wealth” – the Conservative Party.  Smith went on to describe Judaism as “surviving relic of the primeval world” that was a “tribal religion” inferior to Christianity that belonged to “the ages before humanity.” As such, Jews “cannot be expected to have much sympathy with progress” and since they are now wealthy, they are obviously supporter of the “plutocratic party.” [Editor’s note – What the publishers of the article do not say is that Smith was a member of the Liberal Party and strong opponent of Benjamin Disraeli, the leader of the Conservative Party.  He later became a professor at Cornell University before finally settling in Canada. According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, Goldwin Smith was “a major exponent of anti-Semitism in the 19th century…. A pathological anti-Semite, Smith disseminated his hatred in dozens of books, articles and letters. Jews, he charged, were "parasites," "dangerous" to their host country and "enemies of civilization." His bilious anti-Jewish tirades helped set the tone of a still unmoulded Canadian society and had a profound impact on such young Canadians as W.L. Mackenzie King, Henri Bourassa and scores of others. Indeed in 1905 in the most vituperative anti-Jewish speech in the history of the House of Commons, borrowing heavily from Smith, Bourassa urged Canada to keep its gates shut to Jewish immigrants.”  This should explain much of the content of Smith’s article.)

1880: The second annual convention of the National Rabbinical Association came to a close today in Detroit, Michigan.  About half of the 56 member rabbis were in attendance.  A large number of non-Jews attended the sessions at which papers on several topics related to Judaism were presented.

1880: An unidentified man was buried in a pauper’s grave today in Hoboken, NJ.  The undertaker had initially identified the man as being Jewish and the town’s Jewish community had donated funds to provide him with a Jewish burial.  It is not clear what caused the confusion, but the undertaker is refusing to return the funds to the Jews.

1880: “Notes of Literary News” published today described the upcoming publication of Jewish Life in the East a collection of papers written by Sydney M. Samuel on the condition of Jews living in Palestine and other parts of the Levant including an examination of their  physical and moral condition and their manners and customs. At Jerusalem, in 1879-80, Sydney M. Samuel found 416 heads of families pursuing 29 handicrafts, among whom were tinkers, goldsmiths, watchmakers, smiths, turners, and masons ("Jewish Life in the East," p. 78)

1880: Among the charities designated to receive funds from Excise Fund in New York was the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society in the amount of $1,686.

1880: In Merkine, Hinde Bernstein and Isaac Margolis gave birth to Elias Margolis.

1881(18thof Tammuz, 5641): Sixty-six year old Austrian banker Friedrich Freiherr Schey von Koromla, the father of Charlotte Przibram and the maternal grandfather of biologist Hans Leo Przibram passed away today.

1881: Two days after he had passed away, George Novra, a native of Prussia and the husband of Rebecca Abrahams with whom he had four children – Henry, Maria, Benjamin and Lewis – was buried today at the Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.

1881: Four of the five newly elected officers of the Executive Board of the Hebrew Union come from Cincinnati, Ohio, the home of Hebrew Union College. The only exception was A.L. Sanger of New York who was elected to serve as Vice President.

1881: It was reported today that the just concluded meeting of the Council of the Hebrew Union had rejected Rabbi Wise’s proposal to provide stipends for worthy students who lacked the funds to attend Hebrew Union College.  Wise was concerned that “poverty” would keep those with “talent” from serving as Rabbis. The attendees refused to even vote on a proposal requiring that a rabbi must get the consent of his congregation before talking to another congregation about a new position.  The Council felt that they had no business interfering in the relationships that rabbis had with their congregations.

1882: In an attempt to eliminate a source of strikebreakers, it was suggested that the striking freight handlers meet with the Polish Jews and offer to provide them with enough money so that they can buy a stock of small goods and go on the road as peddlers.  The idea was based on reports that the Polish Jews only planned to work on the docks until they had earned enough money to go into business for themselves.

1882: “Russian Refugees Returning Home” published today described the plight of Russian Jewish immigrants who have arrived in Philadelphia in the last few months.  Only a third of the 600 recent arrivals have found jobs and 51 of the families will be shipping out from New York today as they return to their homeland.

1883: In responding to charges by Charles D. Kellogg that “65 per cent of the public charity was mis- directed” Superintendent Hirsch of the New York United Hebrew Charities offered his ‘most emphatic dissent” saying that “very few underserving persons are successful with us” “and what is better comparatively few make the attempt.”

1884(22nd of Tammuz, 5644): French painter Alphonse Hirsch passed away.  Born in Paris in 1843, he studied with Meissonier and Bonnat. Among his most famous portrait was one painted in 1877 - “Isidor, the chief Rabbi of France.”

1884: The last remnant of the Judengasse in Frankfort, Germany, is scheduled to be demolished today.

1884: “At the Great Synagogue, Sydney, Henry Emanuel married Sophie Frank the daughter of Leo Frank of Hanover, Germany who had arrived in Sydney some twelve months previously as governess to Sigmond Hoffnung’s children.”

1884: Twenty people from four families arrived in New York today aboard the SS India.  Their passage had been paid for by the Hebrew Relief Committee of Breslau.

1885: In what appears to be a botched murder/suicide brought on by a domestic dispute, Augustus Erwin, a German Jew, shot his wife and Margaret and then turned the gun on himself. 

1885: It was reported today that the newly formed Union of Hebrew Charities will require favorable responses from 12 of the Jewish charitable organizations before it will officially begin its work.

1886: Birthdate of Milwaukee native Irma Cain, the graduate of Vassar who become Irma Cain Firestone when she married Northwestern University Law School graduate Milton Firestone and was the mother of “Ruth Firestone Brin” her “third child and only daughter.”

1886: It was reported today the Sanitarium for..
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July 14

1086: Toirdelbach Ua Briain passed away.  Born in 1009, he was the King of Munster and the High King of Ireland. During his reign, in 1079, Jews reportedly made their first appearance in the Emerald Isle. “The Annals of Inisfallen record ‘Five Jews came from over sea with gifts to Toirdelbach [king of Munster], and they were sent back again over sea’”.

1223: Philip II Augustus, King of France died. Like so many other anti-Semites, King Phillip based his animus towards the Jews on Christian teachings and then used this hate to despoil.  Shortly after his coronation, the King ordered the arrest of all the Jews on a Saturday, when they were easy pickings and then demanded a ransom for their release.  He canceled the loans Christians owed to the Jews, seized their property and then expelled them.  Years later he would readmit the Jews but only after they paid another ransom and submit to a confiscatory scheme of taxation.

1223:  Louis VIII becomes King of France upon the death of his father, Philip II of France.  After his coronation, Louis reversed the policy of his father and ordered his officials to stop recording the debts Christians owed to Jews.  This was part of the on-going struggle that Christians had over the question of usury – charging interest when lending money.  For Christians usury was a sin that led to excommunication.  Since Jews were not Christians they could not be excommunicated so some Christian leaders felt it was acceptable to borrow from them.  The Church frowned on this.  Louis’ ban was an attempt to reach a compromise.  Jew could lend.  Christians could borrow.  But Christians did not necessarily end up having to pay back.  At least one major French noble became a foe of Louis over this since he had taxed his Jews on the profits from their money-lending activities.   This was a fry cry from the days of Louis VI and Louis VII both of whom were protective of Jews to the extent that Jews were a significant part of the populace of Paris.

1349: Today “all the Jews living in Frankfurt were murdered and their houses burnt.”

1391: The jurados of Valencia reported today that Don Samuel Abravalla, “the richest Jew in Valenciea” had been baptized yesterday in the palace of En Gasto.  His Christian name is Alfonso Ferrandes de Villaneuva.”  (According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, this Samuel Abravalla should not be confused with

Don Samuel Abravanel, who was also forcefully baptized in 1391, but took the name Juan de Sevilla. Both men returned to Judaism as soon as they had the chance to recant their respective baptisms.

1555: Paul IV issued Cum nimis absurdum, a Papal Bull that “placed religious and economic restrictions on Jews in the Papal States. The bull renewed anti-Jewish decrees. It forced Jews to wear special clothing, to live in a ghetto in Rome and forbade them to own real estate or practice medicine among Christians. Jews were forbidden to practice any trade except ragpicking, and were restricted to one synagogue per city. Since all property had to be sold, and was inevitably sold at below market value, the Bull, like most such ordinances was theft as well.”


1614: The Jews of Worms succeeded in repelling an attack on the Jewish quarter today.

1647: A Jew from the city of Alessandra “who had discovered a new process of refining gunpowder” told the city officials of the plans the Duke of Modena to take control of the city by bribing him to destroy the supply of gunpowder.

1656: In New York, the municipal authorities grand the Jews a lot “for a place of interment” which “was on New Bowery, near Olive Street” “which the Jewish community” later “augmented by the purchase of adjoining tracts in 1681, 1729, and 1755.”

1663(9thof Tammuz, 5423): According to Leopold Zunz, Nathan ben Moses Hannover the Jewish historian and Talmudist best known for writing Yeven Mezulah that described the Khmelnytsky Uprising in which an unprecedented number of Jews were murdered, passed away today.  “Some of them [the Jews] had their skins flayed off them and their flesh was flung to the dogs. The hands and feet of others were cut off and they [their bodies] were flung onto the roadway where carts ran over them and they were trodden underfoot by horse ... And many were buried alive. Children were slaughtered at their mother’s bosoms and many children were torn apart like fish. They ripped up the bellies of pregnant women, took out the unborn children, and flung them in their faces. They tore open the bellies of some of them and placed a living cat within the belly and they left them alive thus, first cutting off their hands so that they should not be able to take the living cat out of the belly ... and there was never an unnatural death in the world that they did not inflict upon them.”

1757: During a dispute surrounding titles used by members of the Bet Din in London, Isaac Nieto “was prohibited from exercising the functions of assessor.” The son of David Nieto, Isaac Nieto had served as spiritual leader of Bevis Marx and had started the first synagogue in Gibraltar.  He had returned to London in 1751 to serve as one of three judges in the city’s Rabbinical Court.  He passed away in 1774.

1785: Birthdate of Mordecai Manuel Noah, the native of Philadelphia, who “was an American playwright, diplomat, journalist, and utopian. Born in a family of Portuguese Sephardic ancestry, he was the most important Jewish lay leader in New York in the pre-Civil War period, and the first Jew born in the United States to reach national prominence.”

1789: This date marks the fall of the Bastille in France. Although Jews by and large were not allowed to participate in the election of the Estates-General, which became the Constituent National Assembly, they viewed the fall of the Bastille as a triumph. Many of them enlisted in the National Guard. At the same time more than 1000 Jews in Alsace were forced to flee during the Agrarian revolt there.

1790(3rdof Av, 5550):Uziel Barrah the English born butcher whose conviction led to his being sent as a convict toe Australia passed away there today.

1792: Coronation of Francis II who relied on Berhnard Eskeles for financial “advice.”

1796: As the sun rise over Frankfort, the Jews examined the extensive damage done to the Judengrasse by the French shelling.  The damage was so extensive that the Jews were allowed to disperse to other sections of the city leading to the de facto end of the “Jewish Quarter.:

1798: The Sedition Act, part of the four laws known as the Alien and Sedition Acts become law during the administration of President John Adams. Adams was the leader of the Federalist Party and the opponents of the Democrat Party led by Thomas Jefferson.  According to historian Howard M. Sachar, “the Federalist remained plainspoken opponents of political rights for non-Christians.” The Jews “sensed that the underlying animus” expressed against the French and other “foreigners” in this legislation was aimed at Jews (the quintessential foreigners) as much as anybody else.  This drove most Jews into the welcoming arms of the Democrat Party which a strange admixture of Southern aristocrats and Northern urban leaders as typified by Aaron Burr.

1816(18th of Tammuz, 5576): Since the 17th of Tammuz fell on Shabbat Tzom Tammuz was observed today.

1827: Birthdate of Wilhelm Rapp, the German native who participated in the Revolutions of 1848 before moving to United States in 1852 where he became a newspaper whose anti-slavery views led to a meeting with President Abraham Lincoln.

1828: Today “Dora Wordsworth and her father William Wordsworth and their friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge…came upon a Jewish family while walking along the Rhine near St. Goar.”  Dora recorded the meeting in her journal, while her father, the poet, recorded his feelings in a poem entitled “A Jewish Family” that was published in 1835. According to Judith W. Page, “Dora attempted to humanize the family and to see them as individuals.  William…idealized and distanced his subjects, thus denying them their particular identities and historical grounding. What follows is Wordsworth description of the events that led to the creation of “A Jewish Family.”

Coleridge, my daughter, and I, in 1828, passed a fortnight upon the banks of the Rhine, principally under the hospitable roof of Mr. Aders of Gotesburg, but two days of the time we spent at St. Goar in rambles among the neighbouring valleys. It was at St. Goar that I saw the Jewish family here described. Though exceedingly poor, and in rags, they were not less beautiful than I have endeavoured to make them appear. We had taken a little dinner with us in a basket, and invited them to partake of it, which the mother refused to do, both for herself and children, saying it was with them a fast-day; adding diffidently, that whether such observances were right or wrong, she felt it her duty to keep them strictly. The Jews, who are numerous on this part of the Rhine, greatly surpass the German peasantry in the beauty of their features and in the intelligence of their countenances. But the lower classes of the German peasantry have, here at least, the air of people grieviously opprest. Nursing mothers, at the age of seven or eight and twenty often look haggard and far more decayed and withered than women of Cumberland and Westmoreland twice their age. This comes from being underfed and overworked in their vineyards in a hot and glaring sun.

“A Jewish Family”

GENIUS of Raphael! if thy wings

Might bear thee to this glen,

With faithful memory left of things

To pencil dear and pen,

Thou would'st forego the neighbouring Rhine,

And all his majesty--

A studious forehead to incline

O'er this poor family.


The Mother--her thou must have seen,

In spirit, ere she came

To dwell these rifted rocks between,

Or found on earth a name;

An image, too, of that sweet Boy,

Thy inspirations give--

Of playfulness, and love, and joy,

Predestined here to live.


Downcast, or shooting glances far,

How beautiful his eyes,

That blend the nature of the star

With that of summer skies!

I speak as if of sense beguiled;

Uncounted months are gone,

Yet am I with the Jewish Child,

That exquisite Saint John.


I see the dark-brown curls, the brow,

The smooth transparent skin,

Refined, as with intent to show

The holiness within;

The grace of parting Infancy

By blushes yet untamed;

Age faithful to the mother's knee,

Nor of her arms ashamed.


Two lovely Sisters, still and sweet

As flowers, stand side by side;

Their soul-subduing looks might cheat

The Christian of his pride:

Such beauty hath the Eternal poured

Upon them not forlorn,

Though of a lineage once abhorred,

Nor yet redeemed from scorn.


Mysterious safeguard, that, in spite

Of poverty and wrong,

Doth here preserve a living light,

From Hebrew fountains sprung;

That gives this ragged group to cast

Around the dell a gleam

Of Palestine, of glory past,

And proud Jerusalem!

1850: Following a major fire in Philadelphia, the Hebrew ladies of Philadelphia met this morning and afternoon, and made up a large quantity of garments to supply immediate necessities for those who had suffered losses as a result of the blaze.

1850: Sixty-one year old German theologian and historian Johann August Wilhelm Neander who had been born David Mendel, the son of Jewish peddler Emmanuel Mendel, passed away today.

1854: The New York Times published a letter from James Finn, the English Consul at Jerusalem that was critical of an U.S. citizen named Jones who was allegedly selling relics to visitors for 60 pounds sterling.  Finn was a philanthropist as well as diplomat who established a farm for training Jewish agriculture workers and employed Jewish workers to build the first house at Kerem Avraham, a piece of land he had purchased that was outside the walls of the Old City.

1858: In Chicago Gertrude and Herman Benjamin Felsenthal, “a school board member in Chicago” gave birth to University of Chicago trained lawyer Eli Benjamin Felsenthal who was a “charter member of the board of trustees of the University of Chicago” and the husband of Nettie Felsenthal.

1858: "The First Mormon Settlement--Its Temple" published today described the Mormon settlement in Ohio including a school that has a classroom for the teaching of Hebrew which is overseen by a Jew named Sexias whom the Reverend Stewart also consults on matters relating to "Hebrew authority."

1862: Jeweler Isaac Sommers, the son of Lawrence and Rebecca Somers was buried today in the West Ham Jewish Cemetery.

1863: Jews of Holstein, Germany were granted equality.

1867: Birthdate of Georg Stern, the native of Konigsberg who pursued a career as an engineer with AEG until he retired in 1930 to devote himself to his musical compositions.

1870: In Great Britain, the United Synagogue Act which brought into existence the United Synagogue received Royal Assent.

1870: In Shreveport, LA, Arthur Lee Kahn and Julia Sour gave birth to playwright Arthur Lee Kahn.


1871: In Kensington, London, “Leopold (Lippmann) Seligman, the son of Fanny and David Isaac Seligman and Julia Seligman gave birth to Herbert Spencer Seligman

1874: The newly formed Union of American Hebrew Congregations is scheduled to have its second annual meeting today.

1874: At Cleveland, Ohio, Moritz Loth of Cincinnati was elected President of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations.

1875: In Williamsport, PA, Baruch and Pauline Fleishman gave birth to Estelle A. May Affedler, the wife of Louis J. Affelder, the Pittsburgh civil engineer and civic leader with whom she had three children Mrs. Emanuel, Mrs. S. Lewis Merritt and Paul B. Affelder, the music critic for the Brooklyn Eagle.

1877: Leopold Ullstein, a Bavrian Jew, purchased the Neue Berliner Tageblatt newspaper, a subsidiary of the liberal Berliner Tageblatt published by Rudolf Mosse who was a leader of the Berlin Jewish community.

1878: While meeting in Milwaukee, the Jewish Council “formally approved the union of all Hebrew congregations under one organization.  The goals of the organization include the creation of institutions “for instruction in Hebrew literature and theology,” the establishment of relations “with other Jewish organizations in different parts of the world” dedicated to improving the conditions of oppressed Jews and the promotion of religious instruction for young people include young Jewish ladies.

1880: A free aquatic excursion for poor Jewish children six years of age and under is scheduled to begin at nine o’clock this morning

1881: In Chicago, Il, the 8th annual meeting of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations came to an end.  Moritz Loth of Cincinnati has served as President and Lipman Levy has servered as the Secretary of the Union.

1882: It was reported today that Patrick Auglen has charged a group of Polish Jews living in the same rooming house where he was staying had dragged him into their apartment and beaten him brutally.  The Jews did not deny having fought with him but claimed they were acting in self-defense since Auglen had begun the disturbance by kicking down their door.  The fight was part of the violence that was surrounding the current Freight Handlers Strike.

1882: “Help For The Russian Jews” published today the Executive Board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations had agreed to issue an appeal to all of its member congregations to solicit aid for Russian refugees and to require every Jewish male over the age of 13 to contribute one dollar to a fund for aiding the poor.

1882: Nearly 300 Russian Jewish refugees arrived in Philadelphia aboard the SS Pennsylvania.  They came from Odessa and Kiev and have left for settlement in the West.

1882: In Baltimore, MD, Jennie R. Saks and Andrew Saks whose “daughter, Leila Saks Meyer…survived the sinking of the Titanic when she was returning from his funeral” gave birth to Horace A. Saks, who along with Bernard Gimbel created Saks Fifth Avenue

1883: It was reported today that “several Jews have been tortured and murdered” in the Russian town of Ostrog.

1884(21st of Tammuz, 5644): Rabbi George Jacobs of Beth El-Emeth in Philadelphia, passed away today in Germantown, PA after an extended illness. A native of Kingston Jamaica, he came to the United States at the age of two and went into business in Richmond Va.  In 1857, he joined the rabbinate in that Southern city and served there until 1869 when he moved to Philadelphia.  Jacobs was the author of numerous works including “Sketches of Abarbanel’s Commentaries” and “Specimens of Hebrew Literature, from the Redaction of the Mishnah to 1800.”

1884: Birthdate of Abraham Zevi Idelsohn, the Latvian born South African cantor who is one of the earlies students of the history of Jewish music.

1884: It was reported today that the courts have ruled that the French artist Gustave Jean Jacquet may not display his portrait showing Alexander Dumas as a Jew of Baghdad. The son of the great novelist apparently felt to be portrayed as member of this ethnic group was an insult.  The whole matter was moot, since 18 months ago, the son-in-law of Dumas had struck the head in the painting with his cane thus destroying the offending visage. [Another example of the uneven French view of Jews]

1885: The Union of Hebrew Charities met in St. Louis, MO, this morning and voted unanimously to change the name to the Associated Hebrew Charities of the United States.  Delegates from Louisville, Nashville, Baltimore, St. Paul, MN, New Orleans, Wilmington, Delaware and Montgomery, Alabama promised to immediately join the newly re-named organization.

1885: It was reported today that Marcus Bernheimer has been elected of a yet unnamed national union of Hebrew charities.  J.L. Isaacs of New York has been elected Vice President and Albert Arstein of St. Louis has been elected to serve as Secretary.

1885: “A Weakness for Pictures” published today reported that Dr. Felton proposed that $500 be appropriated by the Georgia Legislature to buy pictures of Reverend Mercer and Bishop Pierce in what some saw was an attempt to gain votes in his upcoming run for the governorship. Representative Arnheim drew laughter from the attendees when he moved that an additional $25 be appropriated to buy “a cheap picture of Moses.  [Note - Louis Arnheim was Jewish and represented Dougherty County in the state legislature. Dr. Felton is a candidate for Governor]

1886: Birthdate of Henry Hurwitz, the native of Lithuania whose family immigrated to Massachusetts in 1891 where he earned a B.A. and M.A. from Harvard and went on “to establish the Intercollegiate Menorah Association (IMA) which expanded the objectives of the Harvard Menorah Society to a national scale.”

1886: In Charleston, SC, Rabbi David Levy officiated at the wedding of Isaac P. Rosenthal and Hannah Kosminsky.

1886: This evening, in Charleston, SC, Rabbi David Levy officiated at the wedding of Emanuel Iseman of Darlington, SC, to Hulda Lewith “the eldest daughter of E.J. Lewith” at the home of the bride’s parents.

1887: Birthdate of New York native Milton Montague Adler, the graduate of Adelphi College and Newark, NJ, merchant who served as an officer of the New Jersey Jewish War Relief and was “active in B’nai B’rith.

1887: It was reported at Pittsburg, PA, the Committee on Civil Rights recommended that the Board of Delegates should take notice of the recent outbreak of prejudice aimed at the Jews of Louisiana and urged the Jewish delegated to work for legislations that would protect them throughout the United States.

1889: It was reported today from Round Lake, NY, that this season’s Round Lake Assembly will feature a new attraction – a replica of the Tabernacle used by the Israelites in the Wilderness.  Built to one third the scale of the original, it will include a replica of the ark and all of the sacrificial accoutrements used by the priests and Levites. W.H. Groat of Rupert, VT, who furnished the designs and oversaw the actual construction, will deliver lectures about the Tabernacle using the model as a teaching tool.

1890: Birthdate of Russian born sculptor Ossip Zadkine.

1891: Birthdate of Trondheim native Marie Dvoretsky, the homemaker who was deported Auschwitz in 1942 where she was murdered in 1943.

1891; Joseph Thoron, the President of the French Hospital Board and the French Benevolent Society prepared the program which is being distributed at today’s celebration of Bastille Day and the centennial of the political emancipation of the Jews of France. The pamphlet includes “a sketch of the emancipation of the Jews of France and an outline of the life of Coroner Ferdinand Levy.” Coroner Levy delivered an address on behalf of the Jews.

1891: The weekly excursion for sponsored by the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children for underprivileged Jewish children and their mothers is scheduled to take place today.

1892: Agent Rheinherz of the United Hebrew Charities presented Superintendent of Immigration Weber with “a fine crayon port of himself by the Hebrew, German, Irish, Polish and Italian Societies.”

1892: Alexander Berkman, the anarchist who would attempt to assassinate Clay Frick, arrived in Pittsburgh today.

1893: Russian Jews made up the majority of the 800 refugees aboard the Red Sea, a tramp steamship that arrived today at Ellis Island.  The immigrants were not allowed to land due to concern about their financial situation.

1893(1st of Av, 5653): Rosh Chodesh Av

1893(1st of Ave, 5653): While sailing from New York to Liverpool aboard the Cunard Line steamship Umbria, New York realtor Ascher Weinstein who was connected with several Jewish charitable institutions fell overboard today in a tragic accident.

1894: Fifteen hundred members of the United Hebrew Trades Unions led by the International Cloakmakers Union marched up with Bowery behind an array of Red Flags on their way to mass meeting at Union Square where supporters of the Pullman strikers were gathered.

1895: The attendees at the annual Central..
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July 13

100 BCE: Birthdate of Julius Caesar.  When Caesar and Pompey fought for control of the Empire, the Jews supported Caesar because of the evil Pompey had done to the Jewish people including desecrating the Temple and shipping thousands of Judeans to Roman slave markets.  Caesar returned Jaffa to Judean control and allowed the walls of Jerusalem to be rebuilt. The Jews of Rome were allowed to organize as a community and Jews living on the Italian peninsula were able to improve their economic condition.

982: Kalonymos da Lucca, “the second Jew mentioned in the annals of Germanic history” “saved the life of Emperor Otto II” “who rewarded him with a house and citizenship in the city of Main where he could live safely as a Jew under the protection of the Archbishop.” (As described by Leo Sievers)

1024: Henry II, the Holy Roman Emperor whose expulsion of the Jews from Mayence was lamented in dirges composed by the poet Simon ben Isaac and of which Gershom ben Yehuda said, “Thou hast made those who despise They Law to have dominion over Thy people…” passed away today.

1105(29thof Tammuz, 4865: On the secular calendar Rabbi Shlomo ben Isaac also known as Rashi passed away. Rashi is a Hebrew acrostic for Rabbi Shlmoh ben Isaac. Born in 1040 he was the leading rabbinic commentator in his day on the TaNaCh and Talmud. His work is so basic to Jewish study, that it is said when we study Torah we must study Rashi. Rashi lived at the time of the Crusades. He passed away five years before the birth of that other great medieval sage, Maimonides. (See the attachment for a fuller treatment of his life.) While there is much to be learned from the teachings of Rashi, there are also lessons that we can learn from his life. While he studied with the greatest teachers in Germany, he lived in a French town with a comparatively small Jewish population. For those living in small towns this should serve as a reminder that living in small town is no reason not to study. Rashi was a Rabbi. He was also a successful businessman. He was a wine merchant who was able to care for his family and support students and yeshivas. In other words, just because most of us have to work for a living, we can still find time for study. Rashi had three daughters and no sons. Unlike the example of the mythical Tevye, Rashi’s daughters were all educated scholars. According to the stories told about them, all five wore tefillin. In other words, for Rashi, women were not to be "barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen." His example means we should be providing a full Jewish education for all of our community, regardless of sex. (See Maggie Anton’s books about Rashi’s daughters for more about this)(www.rashisdaughters.com)

1148: Anti-Jewish riots take place in Cordova, Spain.

1391: The richest Jew in Valencia, “the great Don Samuel Abravalla,” was baptized to in the palace of En Gasto.  He is now known as Alfonso Ferrandes de Villanueva.

1564: In Brest Litvosk (Lithuania), Abraham, the son of a wealthy and envied Jewish tax collector was accused of killing the family's Christian servant for ritual purposes. He was tortured and executed. King Sigmund Augustus forbade the charge of ritual murder.

1608: Birthdate of Ferdinand III the Holy Roman Emperor who awarded the Jewish community their own banner in recognition for their services in the defense of Prague during the Thirty Years War.

1756: Birthdate of artist and caricaturist Thomas Rowlandson a non-Jew who born in Old Jewry, a street that takes its name from the fact that it was part of a Jewish quarter that had first existed at least as far back as the 13thcentury.

1787: According to the “Kaisers Patent” bearing today’s date issued by Austrian Emperor Josef II, Jews “were forced to send their children to Christian schools and take German names.”

1787:  The Continental Congress enacts the Northwest Ordinance establishing governing rules for the Northwest Territory. It is important to note that there were no religious qualifications to settling in the area, owning land or taking part in political activities.  This openness encouraged Jews to settle the lands west of the Allegheny Mountains.  It also forced some of the east coast states to remove their remaining religious qualifications for participating in state government

1788(4thof Shevat, 5548): Leah Ancona, the daughter of Moses Ancona and Hannah Montefiore passed away today in London.

1793(4thof Av, 5553): Parashat Devarim, Shabbat Chazon

1793(4thof Av, 5553): Rebecca Hart Myers, the daughter of Joseph Hart Myers and Leah Jacobs passed away today in the UK.

1796: When French forces renew their bombardment of Frankfurt this evening, fire breaks out in the city including the area known as the Judengasse.

1798: Birthdate of Warder Cresson, the Quaker born Philadelphian who changed his name to Michoel Boaz Yisroel ben Avraham when he converted to Judaism. After surviving a sanity hearing, Cresson became an ardent supporter of Jewish settlement in Palestine moving to Jerusalem where he married a Sephardic women, raised a family and eventually passed away.

1813: Birthdate of Lazare Isidore who served as chief rabbi of France from 1867 until his death in 1888.

1816: Birthdate of German novelist Gustav Freytag who was married to a Jew but who authored Debit And Credit the popular anti-Semitic six volume novel that featured he Jewish Ehrenthal family who are money-lenders and speculators and their criminal employee Veitel Itzig and promoted negative stereotypes of Jews.

1815: Future President John Q. Adams wrote in a letter: 'The Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. If I were an atheist, I should still believe fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations.'

1823: Birthdate of French poet Eugène Manuel, the son of Parisian Jewish doctor.

1841: Birthdate of Austrian architect Otto Wagner. Budapest's Rumbach Synagogue, built in the 1870s, was his first major work. There seems to be some dispute as to whether or not Wagner himself was Jewish.  We post his name because of the synagogue construction since we have not been able to verify whether or not he was Jewish.

1852: In New York, the Board of Alderman approved placing gas lamps in front of the synagogue on Greene Street.

1859: Sir Moses Montefiore was informed that in an interview Mr. Odo Russell, a British diplomat, had with Cardinal Giacomo Antonelli, a senior Vatican official closely associated with the Pope, the latter said that the issue of Edgardo Mortara was “a closed question.”  In other words, Vatican was standing fast on the seizure of the Jewish child and had no intention of returning him. 

1861: In Nevada, Israel ben Joseph Benjamin, a German-Jewish traveler who was a passenger on one of the first scheduled daily overland stagecoaches passed through Jacobs Well “a foundling way station for changing horses or mules on the Daily Overland Mail stage.”

1863: During the Draft Riots which began today in New York City, mobs came down the street where the Hebrew Orphan Asylum was located but passed the building without attacking.

1863: In London, Rabbi Samuel Marcus Gollancz, the cantor of the Hambro Synagogue, London, and his wife, Johanna Koppell gave birth “to the sixth of their seven children, English literature professor Sir Israel Gollancz who married Alide Goldschmidt in 1910.



1865: "Russia: Extensive Fires" published today describe a fire has destroyed 108 houses in Gerdok most of which belonged to Jews. Two children died in the fire.  A fire in the Jewish quarter at Grodno destroyed eighty-two houses. The Synagogue in Borisoff was among the buildings that fell victim to the flames when fire swept the town.

1872: According to reports published today, The Jewish Messenger endorsed the proposal of the New York Times that poor and orphaned children in New York should be able to enjoy at least one excursion during the month of July.  In urging its readers to contribute to this cause the Messenger reminded that among the beneficiaries would be at least four hundred Jewish children.

1873: “Cleanliness Versus Godliness” published today took issue with the contention of the historian Eusebus that the Apostle James never took a bath.  “The assertion is most improabable, for not only were all the apostles strict Jews, but St. James, the Bishop or Jerusalem, could least of all have afforded to despise so sacred a Jewish habits as cleanliness”  since James “was held in the highest esteem by the  Judaizing party in the Church.

1875: Representatives from a group of Jewish congregations from across the United States held their second annual meeting in Buffalo, NY. Joseph Cohn of Pittsburg, PA was elected President; Henry Brock of Buffalo was elected Vice President; Lippman Levy of Cincinnati was elected Secretary; S. J. Lowenstein of Evansville, Indiana was elected Assistant Secretary. 

1876: Judge Abraham Jesse Dittenhoefter described the meeting in which New York Governor Samuel J.  Tilden was told that he had been nominated by the Democratic Party as their candidate for President. He then read a sample of letters from those supporting this candidate of reform. (Tilden is the “Tilden” of the famous Hayes-Tilden electoral stalemate)

1877: A review of Poet and Merchant by Bethold Auerbach, “a Jewish romance” in which all but a couple of the characters are Jews was published today.

1874: Jewish leaders from all over the United States are gathering in Cleveland, Ohio for tomorrow’s meeting of the Council of the American Union of Hebrew Congregations.

1878: At the conclusion of the Congress of Berlin, the European powers sign the Treaty of Berlin designed to officially the end of the Russo-Turkish War.  One of the issues settled by the treaty was the question of independence for Romania.  The Romanians promised that they would improve the treatment of the Jews living in Romania.  Rather than trust the Romanian leaders, the authors of the treaty bowed to pressure from influential European Jews and insisted “that Romania must guarantee Jewish political emancipation before her sovereignty could be recognized.”  The requirement was incorporated into the Treaty of Berlin under Article 62.

1879: A delegation of Rabbis from congregations across the United States, including both Reform and Orthodox came to house of Rabbi David Einhorn and presented him with a resolution enumerating his various accomplishments as his decade’s long career.  The 72 year old native of Bavaria is retiring as the spiritual leader of Congregation Beth-El with a pension of $3.500.

1879: An article published today based on information from The Saturday Review, a London weekly magazine, examined the life of the late Lionel Rothschild.  Rothschild was held in high esteem for his philanthropies that included an unexpectedly large donation for the relief of those who suffered during the Irish Famine in the 1840’s.  Rothschild was praised for being more than “nominally a Jew” and for taking a leading role in the affairs of the Jewish community.  Rothschild was “too rich too powerful and too socially important to be tempted to seek to rise by a calculated conversion.”  On a personal level, one of Rothschild’s crowning moments came when he won the Epsom Derby in 1879 thanks to the efforts of “Sir Bevys.”   Much of the prejudice that Jews have experienced in England has dissipated due, in part, to the example of the Rothschilds which includes the unique Jewish trait of “setting as much store on the attainment of high education and the development of business faculties in the women as in the men.”

1881: It was reported today that a resolution was introduced at the 8th annual council of the Union of American Hebrew congregations calling upon the Union to the steps that would lead to the abolition of the Religious Department of the Census Bureau.  Those in favor of the proposal felt that the “Church and State were separated by a wide gulf” and that the government did not have any right to ask Americans about their religious beliefs.  Those who were opposed to the proposal felt that the Hebrew Union did not have the right to interfere with the operations of the government.  The latter view prevailed and the motion was withdrawn.

1882: President Lotte of Cincinnati presided over a meeting of the Executive Board of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations at Saratoga, NY.  The Board represents 15 congregations.

1882(26thof Tammuz, 5642): Thirty-nine year old Sigmund Ferdinand Strauss, the brother of MP Arthur Isidor Strauss and Heinrich Alphons Strauss passed away today in Paris.

1883: It was reported today that the expenses of the Hebrew Union College have exceeded income by $18,200. The shortfall was covered by money taken from the Sinking Fund.  In order to avoid further financial problems the Union will collect a head tax of one dollar for each congregant belonging to the congregations across the country.

1883: In Poland, Rebekah and Abraham Simcha (Simon) Flashtiq gave birth to Joseph Flashtiq, the husband of Ida Flashtiq and father of Reginald Flashtiq

1885: Marcus Berheimer delivered a welcoming address to the delegates from the United Hebrew Relief Associations from the principle cities in the United States who had gathered in St. Louis to form a union of the Hebrew Charities into a national organization.

1887: At 14thannual meeting of the leaders of the Hebrew Congregations of America, leaders of the Reform Movement expressed their disgust with the treatment of Jewish-American citizens doing business with, or visiting, Russia.  The group wants changes made to the Russo-American Treaty that will guarantee American Jews will be treated with same respect as is shown to American Catholics and Protestants.

1888: Birthdate of Isaac Nachman Steinberg, the Russian born lawyer and political leader who served with Lenin but then was forced to flee to the West in the 1920’s when the political winds of the Bolsheviks blew in another direction.

1889: “Harlem Club and Senator Cantor” published today described attempts to minimize the action of club members.  They claimed that the Jewish political leader had not been blackballed; merely postponed.  While it was thought that a majority of the members would vote in favor of membership, the “blackball system” would keep that from happening.

1890: Rabbi Sabato Morais of Philadelphia, PA is giving a lecture this morning entitled “Some Hebrew Grammarians” at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York.

1891:”Russians Facing Famine” published today described the effects of the worst food shortage since the earliest days of the Romanov dynasty including the suffering of the Jews especially those living at Rovnopol where they “are practically dying of hunger.” During a tour of the area, the governor saw the Jews “destitute of bread and corn” and “several families living together in one hut for the sake of warmth generated by propinquity.”

1892: The assailant who attacked Gustave Berkowitz, an old Jewish peddler, escaped from custody today.

1893: Among the people who were killed in today’s train wreck at Newburgh, NY was
“an unknown woman, apparently thirty-four years old, of Hebrew cast of countenance” (In other words she looked like a Jew).  Among the injured were five members of the family of Leopold Michael, a retired diamond merchant on his way to spend the summer in the Catskills.

1893: The decision by the family of Captain Dreyfus not to accept a jewel sword which a group of American Jews plan to purchase in his honor and the decision by Emile Zola not to accept an engraved gold pen from the same group was made public today. The plan to buy these items had split the Jewish community with the editors of the Forwards being most vocal in their opposition.

1893: “Soon To Have A New Temple” published today provides a detailed description of Shaaray Tefilla’s home located on 82nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues

1894: Birthdate of Isaak Babel Russian short-story writer and dramatist. He is known by many as the author of "Red Calvary." Babel’s artistic career ended when he was arrested by the Soviet secret police in one of those periodic purges brought on by Stalin’s paranoia. Babel was shot after a secret trial proved he was a traitor.

1894: Albert Mortiz was promoted from Assistant Engineer to Past (First) Assistant Engineer today in the United States Navy.

1894: A day after she had passed away, 74 year old Rachel Sampson, the widow of Simon Sampson was buried today at the West Ham Jewish Cemetery on Buckingham Road.

1894: Even though Eugene Debs said it was his decision, the Knights of Labor blamed Samuel Gompers for calling off the planned strike intended to show support for the Pullman workers. 

1985: In the United Kingdom, the General Election that would see Harry Marks emerge victorious in his campaign to represent St. George, Tower Hamlets, began.

1895: On Shabbat, Dr. Samuel Sale of St. Louis, MO will deliver the sermon at the annual Central Conference American Rabbis meeting in Rochester, NY.

1895: “A Jewish Confession of Faith” published today listed the ten point formula “for the reception of proselytes being considered by the Reform movement.

1895: It was reported today that a new translation of Conventional Lies of Our Civilization by Max Nordeau is being published in London that will replace the one that appeared in Chicago ten years ago.

1896: “Bugs, Worms and Beetles” published today described the history and impact of these critters including the fact that the “Jews of Morocco regard male grasshoppers as unclean” and that they only eat the females “which have peculiar markings on their bodies” which are said to be Hebrew letters that “make it lawful to devour the animals bearing them.” (No shrimp or lobster; but we can eat female grasshoppers in Morocco – such a deal)

1896: Birthdate of Israeli painter Mordecai Ardon.  Born in Poland when it was part of the Russian Empire, Ardon later moved to Germany where he was a student at the "Bauhaus" School from 1920 to 1925.  This was the period in German history known as the Weimar Republic.  Ardon moved to Jerusalem in 1933.  He had his first American exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York in 1948. There are numerous websites where you can view his works.  He passed away in 1992. One of his most famous is the "Ardon Windows" in the Jewish National and University Library

1896: Herzl meets with representatives of Hovevei Zion Britain.

1897: Louis Leblois, lawyer for Lieutenant Colonel Georges Picquart, informed Senator Auguste Scheurer-Kestner in detail about the Dreyfus Affair – the first step in a journey that would lead to his involvement in the ultimate re-habilitation of the French Jewish officer.

1898: When the 3rd Nebraska Volunteer Infantry was mustered in today at Omaha, those taking the oath included Sergeant Herbert L. Stern, Corporal George Steinbach, and Privates Henry H. Lyons, Sam Orlofsky and Bert Polsky, all from Lincoln as well as Omaha Musician Harry C. Lyon.

1898: When the 6th Missouri Volunteer Infantry was mustered in today at Jefferson Barracks, those taking the oath included Bernhardt K. Stunberg, Hospital Steward; Captain John H. Goldman, Company A; Private Harry H. Rosenberger, Company C; Musician Oscar Bennewitz and Private Levi Harris, Company D; Private Louis Bleistein, Company G;

1899: The Knights of Zion, a Jewish fraternal organization, was incorporated today at Albany, NY.

1900: In New York City Jozue Perla and Fannie Herzruecken Perlan gave birth to Dr. David Perla the Columbia Medical School graduate who served as “associate pathologist and immunologist at Montefiore Hospital” from 1927 until his death in 1940 and was a “leading investigator and writer on the mechanism of immunity to infection in the human body.”

1901: Birthdate of Myrtle Ehrlich, the Brooklyn native who became the successful American businesswoman, Tillie Ehrlich Lewis, “the tomato queen.”


1902: Birthdate of Labour Party leader Maurice Orbach, “a self-proclaimed Labour Zionist” who was the father of psychotherapist Susie Orbach and Laurence Orbach, the former chairman and CEO of The Quatro Group.

1904(1st of Av, 5664): Rosh Chodesh Av

1904(1stof Av, 5664): Forty-seven year old English soprano and actress Giulia Warwick (born Julia Ehrenberg) passed away today.


1905: “Their Only Hope” published today in The American Israelite described conditions in Russia following the defeat by Japan including plans of the government to hold on to power by sacrificing “the Jews of Russia to the bitter hatred of their enemies” –  “the hierarchy of the Russian Church and members of the business community who see the Jews as competitors --  and concludes with a plea to “great Jewish financers” to use their power “to save five million men, women and children – their coreligionist – from impending destruction.

1905: Sir Reginald Francis Douce Palgrave, the Clerk of the House of Commons passed away.  His father was Sir Francis Palgrave, born Francis Ephraim Cohen, who converted and changed his name so that he could marry Elizabeth Turner.

1905: The Ninth Summer Assembly of the Jewish Chautauqua Society continued for a sixth day in Atlantic City, NJ.

1909(24th of Tammuz, 5669): Jacob Bettelheim, the Viennese born dramatist and author passed away in Berlin.


1910: Fire destroys 21 buildings in the Jewish quarter of Salonica, damage near 600,000 Francs.

1910: Birthdate of Swiss philosopher and Einstein Medal winner Jeanne Hersch.


1911(17th of Tammuz, 5671): Tzom Tammuz

1911(17thof Tammuz, 5671): New Yorker Gustav Mehringer who made “bequests of $2,584.52 each to Mt. Sinai Hospital, the Montefiore Home, the United Hebrew Charities and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum” and a bequest of $2,000 to Temple Emanu-El passed away today.

1911: Birthdate of Brooklyn native WW II Army veteran Hyam Plutzik, the graduate of Trinity College and holder of a master’s degree from Yale and Professor of English at Rutgers whose “awards for Poetry included Yale’s Albert S. Cook Prize in Poetry, an award from..
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July 12

1191: The armies of the Third Crusade (1189-92), led by England's King Richard ('The Lionhearted'), captured the Syrian seaport of Acre.  The Third Crusade would end in failure for the Christian forces.  King Richard would be taken prisoner by the Austrians on his way home.  The Jews of England would be called upon to help pay the ransom of their monarch, who had left the kingdom under the control of his brother Prince John.

1216: Pope Innocent III who issued a Letter on the Jews in 1199 which prohibited the forced conversion of Jews passed away today.


1290: The Jews were expelled from England by order of King Edward I. Edward gets reasonably high marks for setting up the "Model Parliament." American moviegoers know him as "Longshanks" the King who was the villain in the film "Braveheart." The banishment of the Jews from the kingdom was part of slow decline engineered by the English king for a variety of reasons. Before the final edict he found one more way to extract money from his Jewish subjects. In 1287, he arrested several prominent Jewish leaders and demanded the community produce a 12,000-pound ransom for their freedom. The date for the actual order of expulsion is given by some as July 12 and by others as July 18. Regardless, Edward gave the Jews three months to leave. After All-Saints Day, any Jew found in the realm was subject to death. The Jews would not officially return to England until 17th century and the era of Cromwell.

1536: Desiderius Erasmus, the Dutch writer and philosopher passed away. According to Elliot Rosenberg, Erasmus’ relations with the Jews presented a mixed bag.  Unlike Thomas More, “Erasmus spoke out in defense of the Jews and Judaism. ‘If it is Christian to hate the Jews, all of us are only too Christians.’  On the other hand he also write “Jews are very numerous in Italy; in Spain there are hardly any…I am afraid that when the occasion arises, that pest, formerly suppressed, will raise its head again.  Finally, Erasmus only provided lukewarm support when Johann Reuchlin took on “dogmatic Talmud-burners in Central Europe.”

1555: In his Bull Cum Nimis Absurdum, Pope Paul IV renewed all previous anti-Jewish legislation and installed a ghetto in Rome. Jews were forced to wear a given cap and forbidden to own real estate or practice medicine on Christians. Communities weren't allowed to have more than one synagogue and Jews in all the Papal States were forced to lock themselves into the confines of the ghettos each night.

1567(25thof Tammuz, 5327): Latest date on which Meir Ashkenzai was killed on a voyage from Gava to Dakhel while service as an envoy of the Tartar Kahan.

1630: A Dutch man, Michael Paauw, acquires Gull Island from the Mohegan Indians renames it Oyster Island. At the time of the American Revolution, a New York merchant named Samuel Ellis purchased the island and renames it in honor of his family.  This is how the famous point of entry for millions of immigrants included an untold number of Jews came to be known as Ellis Island.

1753: Birthdate of Moses Dobruška, a cousin of Jacob Frank, who convert to Catholicism and was guillotined in Paris on charges of treason and espionage.

1794: Hymen Cohen and Zipporah Isaacs gave birth to Judah Hyman Cohen who would pass away at the age of 61 in Brighton.

1796: French Revolutionary troops under Jean Baptiste Kléber besieged Frankfurt by shelling the city that including its Judengasse.

1804: Former United States Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton dies a day after being shot in a duel.

1824: In Frankfurt-am-Main Zerline (Worms) Beyfus and Meyer (Mayer) Levin Beyfus  gave birth to Wilhelm Beyfus.

1828: Birthdate of Count Iosif Gurko, who as military commander of the districts of Warsaw, Wilna and Kovno would seek royal permission to expel all of the population most of whom were Jews 60 versts or 40 miles from the border.

1825: Three days after she had passed away, Miriam (Mary) Proops was buried today.

1840:  Birthdate of merchant Benjamin Altman, founder of B. Altman and Co.  He was the son of Bavarian Jews, who immigrated to America in 1835 and soon opened a small store.  Altman opened his first store in 1865 and, after thirty years of acquisition and growth formed B. Altman & Co.  Altman was one of a whole series of Jewish merchants and department store moguls who were tied to such famous American emporiums as Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Sears & Roebuck and Home Depot.  B. Altman met its corporate demise in 1989.  Altman, like so many other Jewish merchants, both large and small, was noted for his philanthropy. Shortly before his death in 1913, he established the Altman Foundation, of which $20,000,000 represented by his art collection, was given to the Metropolitan Museum, New York.

1841: The London & Brighton Railway began passenger service through the East Croydon Station which was designed by Anglo-Jewish architect David Mocatta.

1841: Joseph L. Friedlander who was salesman and a “dealer in second-hand clothes” was buried today at the Old Jewish Cemetery in Dresden, Saxony, Germany.

1845: Thirty seven year old Norwegian author Henrik Wergeland who supported the ban on Jews settling in Norway passed away today.

1846(18thof Tammuz, 5606): Tzom Tammuz observed.

1846: In Upper Austria, Simon and Regina Fuchs gave birth to Solomon Fox the husband of Caroline Fox.

1848: Archduke John, who helped in the presentation of the plan of Moses Sachs to settle “Jews as farmers in Palestine under Austrian protection to the Austrian government” was appointed Imperial Vicar today.

1848: Birthdate of Leopold Adler, the Prague native who worked with his younger brother and old brother Mortiz to develop his skills as a photographer.


1859: Today “the cornerstone of the first Ashkenazic synagogue in British North America, Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, was laid at 41 St. Constant (now de Bullion Street), just below de la Gauchetière. It accommodated 150 men and 50 women. The building was 48 by 111 feet. The services were modeled after the Bayswater Synagogue in London, England.

1860: Commodore Uriah P. Levy saluted the Stars and Stripes and walked down the gangplank for the last time. Yet his country had use for him: President Lincoln apparently suggested to Gideon Welles, the Secretary of the Navy, that Levy's unique experience of the military justice system should not be wasted. The old sailor's last assignment has a distinctly Lincolnesque humor: President of the Naval Court-Martial Board.

1861: Michael Van Gelder was buried today at the West Ham Jewish Cemetery on Buckingham Road.

1862: The Medal of Honor was authorized by the United States Congress. The Medal of Honor is popularly known as the Congressional Medal of Honor.  It is the highest decoration military service personnel can earn.  From the Civil War through the Vietnam War, 18 Jews have won this honor.

1865: Corporal Levi K. Kauffman, who had been serving since November, 1863 completed his service in Company H of the 52nd Regiment.

1865: Fifty-three year old Frederick David Goldsmid began serving as a Member of Parliament

1869: In New York City, Jacob A. Weil and Dina Lilienthal gave birth to Abraham Weil an art student at Cooper Union and the Academy of Design whose artwork for newspapers including daily cartoons for the New York Evening Telegram which he stopped in 1898 so he could illustrate books, design art calendars and create theatrical posters for various New York City lithographing firms.

1870: Adolph Marix, the native of Germany who joined the U.S. Navy in 1864 while living in Iowa was promoted from Ensign to Master today.

1872: Birthdate of Boehmia native Emil Hacha, who as the last President of an “independent” Czechoslovakia bowed to personal pressure from Hitler and became the “State President of Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia” where, regardless of what else he did to help or combat the Nazis, signed “into law legislation modeled after the Nuremberg Laws that meant the Jews were no longer Czech citizens in any sense of that term”

1872: Maurice and Johanna Kahn gave birth to Jacobus Henricus Kann the Dutch banker and partner of the banking house Lissa & Kann who was the co-founder of the Jewish Colonial Trust and who died at Theresienstadt in 1944.

1873: Shah Nasr-ed-Din and Adolphe Cremieux met in Persia to discuss the problems of oppressive social and economic discrimination against the Jews. The shah agreed to encourage Jewish schools, and work to improve the Jewish condition. Unfortunately, despite his intentions, the government did little to prevent attacks against the Jewish population or to rescind many of the anti-Jewish regulations. 1876:  Birthdate of Max Jacob, French painter, poet and writer.  Jacob converted to Catholicism before World War I.  Unfortunately for Jacob, the Nazis and Vichy still saw him as a Jew.  His brothers, sister and brother-in-law died at Auschwitz.  Jacob was arrested by the Gestapo in 1944.  However, he died at the French concentration camp called Drancy before he could be shipped east for the Final Solution 1876: At the City Republican Meeting at Cooper Institute in New York, Judge Abraham Jesse Dittenhoefter read the letters of those regretting that they could not attend

1879: Rabbi David Einhorn gave his final sermon at Congregation Beth-El in New York.  Einhorn proudly recalled his role in speaking out against slavery while serving as a rabbi in Baltimore at the outbreak of the Civil War. He was equally proud of his role in the Reform movement although he said he remained staunchly opposed to replacing Saturday with Sunday as the day for Jews to celebrate the Sabbath.  He also urged Jews to continue using German in their sermons and teachings because this was a key in remaining connected to the best in Jewish learning. 

1879: According to reports published today, Rabbi Gustav Koehler of Chicago will replace Rabbi David Einhorn as the leader of Congregation in Beth-El in New York. These same reports contend that Koehler plans on holding services on Sunday and will be delivering sermons in English.

1880(4th of Av, 5640): French financier Isaac Pereire passed away. Pereire and his brother were rivals of the House of Rothschild.  However, the Pereire brothers were Sephardic Jews while the Rothschilds were Ashkenazim. Born in 1806, Piereire and his brother Emile built the first railroad in France in 1835. For a brief period he owned the Paris daily "La Liberté" and he was named a knight of the Legion of Honor for his many philanthropic efforts.

1880: It was reported today that a memoir written by Professor Daniel Chwolson the Jewish professor at the University of St. Petersburg which contains information about the newly discovered Hebrew eptipahs found in the Crimea is in the hands of the printers.

1881: The 8thannual conference of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations is scheduled to begin today in Chicago, Illinois.

1882: As the Freight Handlers’ Strike continued in New York Polish Jews were working in place of the Italians most of whom had been arrested by the police. 

1882: The attacks on the Jews and Italians who have replaced the striking freight handlers are reported to have become much more frequent.  It is reported that the attacks are the works of ruffians who are robbing the Jews and then blaming it on the strikers.

1883: The first free excursion of the season sponsored by the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children will leave from a pier at the foot of 5th Street at nine o’clock this morning

1883: At the third day’s meeting of the Hebrew Union Council the delegates will vote on the recommendation of the Committee on Agricultural Pursuits the Jewish organization work with the Cincinnati Agricultural Society which has already establish established a successful colony in Kansas.

1884:  Birthdate of Italian painter and sculptor, Amedeo Modigliani.  In 1906, Modigliani went to Paris to study where he was confronted with the anti-Semitism connected with retrial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus.  Modigliani signed his sketches "Modigliani - Jew."  Modigliani lived his life as the typical starving artist.  His paintings began to gain in financial worth in shows starting in 1919.  In November of that year Modigliani's health began to rapidly decline.  According to legend he sang the Kaddish for himself when he began spitting blood. He died two months later.  Since his death his paintings have soared in value.  In 1989 one of his paintings was sold for over eight million dollars.  



1884: In Prague, Jakob and Barbara Bondy gave birth to Anna Fischl

1884: In Minsk, Jacob Meir and Sarah Meltzer gave birth to Lazar Meir who gained fame as movie mogul Louis B. Meyer



1884 (19thof Tammuz, 5664): In Tuscany, Eugénie Garsin, the descendant from Sephardic Jews from France and Flamino Modigliani gave birth to Italian painter and sculptor, Amedeo Modigliani.  In 1906, Modigliani went to Paris to study where he was confronted with the anti-Semitism connected with retrial of Captain Alfred Dreyfus.  Modigliani signed his sketches "Modigliani - Jew."  Modigliani lived his life as the typical starving artist.  His paintings began to gain in financial worth in shows starting in 1919.  In November of that year Modigliani's health began to rapidly decline.  According to legend he sang the Kaddish for himself when he began spitting blood. He died two months later.  Since his death his paintings have soared in value.  In 1989 one of his paintings was sold for over eight million dollars.  

1885: It was reported today that the Hebrew Standard has said “The meanest class of Jewish merchants are those who refuse to close half a day on the Jewish Sabbath.”

1886: The children in the care of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society will leave for an excursion on the East River at 8 o’clock this morning.

1887: The 14thannual council of the Hebrew Congregations holds its opening meeting in Pittsburgh where Josiah Cohen was chosen Chairman of the Council, Adolph Freund of Detroit is chosen Vice President and Levi Lipman of Cincinnati is chosen as Secretary.  Dr. Stephen Wise gave the opening address where he reported on conditions at the Hebrew Union College.

1889(13thof Tammuz, 5649): Isaac Phillips, the son of Naphtali and Rachel Mendez Phillips, a New York lawyer who served as an appraiser for the Port of New York and who was a member of Shearith Israel passed away today.

1889: In Austria Alfred Sachs, the son Babette and Eduard Elkan Sachs and his wife Therese Sachs gave birth to Dr. Rudolf Sachs.

1889: Birthdate of Marty Friedman, the defensive guard who played pro-basketball from 1908 to 1927 and who was half of the duo known as “The Heavenly Twins – the other half being fellow Jew Barney Sedran.

1890: “City and Suburban News” published today provides a list of upcoming events in the New York area including plans for Rabbi Sabito Morais to deliver a talk at the Jewish Theological Seminary.

1891: Israel Pimkus, a sixty year old Russian Jew who has just arrived in the United States announced his intentions “of going West” and sending for his five brothers to join him once he gets settled.  Pimkus had escaped Russia with $17,500 that the Czar’s police had failed to find when they ransacked his family’s home.

1891: In Amsterdam, Geertruida (née Warradijn) and Wolf Mozes Goudeket, a wealthy diamond cutter, gave birth to  Julie Henriette Goudeket who gained fame as silent movie start Jetta Goudal.

1891: “To Celebrate a Centennial” published today described upcoming plans to observe the 102nd anniversary of the fall of the Bastille and the 100thanniversary of the emancipation of the Jews of France which will take place in New York’s Lion Park.

1892: In Drohobych which was then part of Austrian Galicia and now is part of Ukraine, cloth merchant Jakub Schulz and Henrietta née Kuhmerker gave birth to author and painter Bruno Schulz, Polish author who will be killed by a Gestapo officer in 1942 under unusual circumstances.  A mural that he painted just before his death would become a point of contention between Ukrainian authorities and the officials at Yad Vashem in 2001

1892: An old Jewish peddler named Gustave Berkowitz was clubbed by a group of Italians who had been fighting among themselves on Thompson Street.

1893: Mrs. Sarah Goldstein a widow with six children who lives at 181 Orchard Street “was served with a notice to vacate her apartments” because she had not paid her rent.  She had used her rent money to pay for medicine for five of her children who had contracted measles.

1894: Concerns about a general strike in New York City seem to have been unfounded as could be seen “at the headquarters of the American Federation of Labor on Clinton” where “there was nothing to indicate that there were even rumors of strikes”

1894: In New York, labor leader Patrick Murphy obtained a parade permit that will enable 15,000 union members including those belong to the United Hebrew Trades Union to take part in a parade tomorrow night.

1894: The members of the United Hebrew Trade Unions are scheduled to form up at Rutgers Square before joining up with members of other labor unions for a mass meeting at Union Square.

1894: Abram Cahan is scheduled to be one of the speakers at tonight’s mass meeting at Union Square sponsored by several labor unions in New York.

1894: In Plymouth, MA, The School of Applied Ethics with Felix Adler as Dean, opened its third annual session today.

1895: Birthdate of lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II. He is the Hammerstein of the team (Richard) Rogers and Hammerstein that produced a string of Broadway Musicals including "Oklahoma" and "Carousal." Hammerstein passed away in 1960.

1895: This evening, Dr. Joseph Adolph Moses of Louisville, KY is scheduled to address the annual Central Conference of American Rabbis meeting in Rochester, NY.

1895: In Rochester the most important subject discussed at this morning’s session of the Rabbinical Conference “was that touch upon by President Wise in his annual address – “What Is Our Relation in All Religious Matters to Our Post Biblical, our Patriotic Literature Including Talmud!”

1896: “About the Ancients” published today described Mr. Maspero’s confirmation of Mr. Flanders Petrie’s discovery of the work “Yisraal” on the Merenptah inscriptionand believes it to be the earliest mention of Israel so far found in Egypt…”

1896: “About the Ancients” published today described the work of Chabas who in 1864 when “studying the records of Ramses found the word ‘Apouriou’ and came to the hasty conclusion that ‘Apouriou’ meant Hebrew.” 

1896(2ndof Av, 5656): Moritz Kirstein, the native of Filehne who earned his M.D. in 1885 and was a member of the Berlin Board of Health, passed away today.

1896: “Art And Utility Linked” published today described The International Art Exhibition in Berlin which includes “Summer Evening In the Ghetto” by Ludwig Knaus that depicts “a centenary Hebrew…seated in a big armchair…attended by his granddaughter.”



1896: Rabbi Isaac ben Sheshet (Ribash) whose remains had been removed from his grave by orders of the government of Algiers was reinterred today. Sheshet was a Spanish Talmudic authority who had been born in 1326 and who had fled to Algeria in 1391 when the persecution of the Jews increased under the spell of the preaching of Fernandes Martinez. He passed away in 1408.  [For more about this sage see Rabbi Isaac ben Sheshet Perfet and his times by Abraham Moses Hershman]

1896: Herzl attends a mass meeting at the workings-men's Club in the East End of London.  Working men’s clubs were designed to bring education and recreation for the members of Britain’s emerging working class at the end of the 19th century

1896: “An East Sided Romance” published today provides a detailed reviews of Yekl – A Tale of the New York Ghetto by Abraham Cahan.


1896: “New Plans for a Jewish State” published today described the creation of a chartered company to create a “Jewish autonomous state in Palestine” which the Turks “are to look favorably upon.”

1897: Forty Jewish families who arrived from Poland are being deported because it has been determined that “they are in a destitute condition” which means they are likely to become “public charges” which makes them ineligible for entry into the United States under the law.

1897: Birthdate of Sam Mintz, the native of Belarus the American writer who created almost 40 screenplays including “Skippy” which was nominated “in the category of Best Adapted Screenplay at the 4th Academy Awards.

1898: One day after she had passed away, 53 year old “Fanny Levy, the widow of David Levy” was buried today at Plashet Jewish Cemetery in London

1899 (5th of Av): Seventy-nine year old German born Rabbi Israel Hildesheimer, the son of Rabbi Löb Glee Hildesheime and one of the founders of Modern Orthodox Judaism passed away.

1899: Maitre Demange, the counsel for Captain Alfred Dreyfus met with the President of the Court Martial regarding setting a date for the hearing and discussing the procedures to be followed.

1899: Attorney Maitre Demange met with Captain Dreyfus for two hours today.

1900: In Holyoke, MA, organization of Congregation Anshei Rodfei Sholem

1901: Birthdate of Benjamin Sonnenberg, the native of Brest-Litovsk whose “first work in the public relations field was writing stories for the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.”


1902: Herzl submits a written outline of his plans and the need for financial support to Rothschild. “Aware of Rothschild’s aversion to settlement in Palestine, Herzl also told Rothschild about the settlement of European Jews in Mesopotamia..
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July 11

1174: Amalric I who had been King of Jerusalem since 1162 passed away.  During his reign most of the Jews were expelled from Jerusalem; a ban that would last until 1175.

1244:“Khorezmian Turkish horsemen launch an attack on Jerusalem, sacking the city and killing most of the Christians and driving out the Jews. The Khorezmian Turks then move on to Egypt. Khwarezmia is at this time a state located around the Aral Salt Flats near the Caspian Sea. It has allied itself with the Ayyub sultan of Egypt against the Muslims in Damascus.”

1346: Charles IV of Luxembourg is elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire which included the Bohemian city of Prague. According to the descendant of Moses ben Israel Naphtaly Hirsch Porges, “The long reign of Emperor Charles IV brought the Prague Jews new privileges and relative calm even though the Luxembourg rulers - the reigning local dynasty - treated Jewish property as though it were their own. They put it in pawn, sold it, or used it as backing for guarantees. But the king ensured protection and, among others, offered a chance for them to settle inside the walls of the arising New Town. A sign of the status of the Jewish community is a banner that has survived, given to the Jews of Prague by Charles IV in 1375.From that year on the Jews would, over the centuries, come to the gates of the ghetto to welcome the kings of Bohemia in Prague.”

1533: Clement VII excommunicated Henry VIII for divorcing Catherine of Aragon, and afterward marrying Anne Boleyn. Henry VIII had relied on the Book of Leviticus when he sought to marry Catherine, the widow of his brother.  Nobody was going to hit him with a sandal.  When it came time to shed Mary, Henry sought support from Rabbis, hoping that their interpretation of Biblical law would somehow sway the Pope.  The Rabbis, who were living in Italy, stayed out of the conflict. They had no reason to trust Henry, who had promised to keep the Jews out of England, when he got married. 

1578: In Emden, Moses Uri (Philip Joosten) Halevie, the “founder and first ḥakam (Rabbi) of the Spanish-Portuguese congregation in Amsterdam in 1596/97” and Bele Halevi gave birth to Aaron Halevie

1657:  Birthdate of King Frederick I of Prussia whose greatest claim to fame is the fact that he was the father of King Frederick II also known as Frederick the Great.  Father and son quarreled about many things but they did agree on at least one thing.  They both abhorred their Jewish subjects, viewing them as aliens in their Germanic kingdom.

1715: During the War of the Spanish Succession which came to an end today, Samson Wertheimer, “the chief rabbi of Hungary and Moravia” who was “also an Austrian financier, court Jew and Shtadlan to Austrian Emperor Leopold I” and Samuel Oppenheimer procured “the money necessary” to equip and supply the victorious Austrian imperial army

1720(5thof Tammuz, 5480): Ahron Lwow passed away in Vienna.

1733: A month after the founding of the colony of Georgia by James Oglethorpe, Jewish settlers arrived in Savannah. The group of forty Sephardic Jews was joined within a year by a group of Ashkenazi Jews. The Sephardic Jews had brought a Torah and other religious items with them and quickly founded a congregation called Mikveh Israel (Hope of Israel). One of the reasons given for the lack of European-styled anti-Semitism in America was that the Jews arrived in the New World at the same time everybody else did.

1734: Birthdate of Philip (Uri) Minis, the Jewish infant who was also the first male white child born in Georgia.

1740: Czarina Anne ordered the Jews expelled from Little Russia. Little Russia is another term for an area that includes the Ukraine.

1767:  Birthdate John Quincy Adams, Sixth President of the United States. Like his father, John Quincy had a positive attitude towards the Jewish people.  In a letter to Major Mordecai Manuel Noah, he wrote, “[I believe in the] rebuilding of Judea as an independent nation.”  Of course this could have been one the earliest attempt to secure Jewish political support by espousing the cause of the Jewish homeland. More than likely, it was an expression of popular Protestant belief of the time that Jews returning to the Promised Land was a necessary precursor for the ultimate Second Coming.  While many Jews know Noah as the founder of the utopian Jewish community of Ararat, he was a major diplomatic and political figure who was the leader of the Tammany Hall political machine during the 1820’s.

1775(13thof Tammuz, 5535): Abraham Seligman, the patriarch of the family that included American financiers Joseph and Jacob Seligman passed away today.

1797: Charles Macklin, the famous Anglo-Irish actor whose greatest claim to fame was his portrayal of Shylock in a completely new manner, passed away.

1797: The gates of the Jewish ghetto in Venice were torn down. This was a direct result of the victories of the French armies led by Napoleon.

1798(27th of Tammuz, 5558): Breina Jaffe the daughter of Mordechai Jaffe passed away today.

1804:  Vice President Aaron Burr and Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton fought a duel.  Hamilton fell mortally wounded. Hamilton had been born on the British controlled island of Nevis in the West Indies in 1755.  His mother was Jewish.  His father was a prominent citizen.  Hamilton’s mother was married, but not to Hamilton’s father. Hamilton attended a Jewish school which was housed in a synagogue in the island’s capital city.  After finishing his school he made his way to North America where he would eventually become a favorite of George Washington and was one of the authors of the famous Federalist Papers.  Hamilton never identified himself as a Jew and lived the life of a prominent Protestant political and financial leader.

1817: Eight year old Ralph Disraeli, the son of Maria and Isaac Disraeli, and the brother of Benjamin Disraeli was christened today at St. Andrew’s in a ceremony that would change the history of the United Kingdom.

1821: Issachar Ber ben Eliezer Jacob married Yetta bat Aaron at the Western Synagogue today.

1821: James Samuel married Elizabeth Davis at the Great Synagogue today.

1824: In Frankfurt, Germany, James de Rothschild married his niece Betty Salomon von Rothschild the daughter of his brother, Salomon Mayer von Rothschild

1827: Rabbi S.C. Peixotto officiated at the wedding of Nathan A. Cohen and Clara Harris, the third daughter of Jacob Harris, Jr. of Charleston, SC.

1827: Lewis Lyon married Mary Phillips at the Western Synagogue today.

1827: Solomon Worms married Henrietta Samuel at the Great Synagogue today.

1831: Birthdate of Mark Blumenthal, the Bavarian born American graduate of College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University who “was president of and physician to the Institution for the Improved Instruction of Deaf Mutes, founded and supported by Jews for the benefit of Jewish and other children” from 1862 to 1894.

1832: Reuben Salomons married Sarah Hurwitz today.

1858: Birthdate of Cyrus L. Sulzberger, the native of Philadelphia, who  “went to New York in 1877 as bookkeeper for the firm of Erlanger, Blumgart & Co., of which he later became the head. An active participant in movement’s to reform New York City’s corrupt political environment, he was a candidate on the Fusion ticket for president of the borough of Manhattan, New York in 1904. Sulzberger was also active in Jewish communal affairs serving for many years as treasurer of the United Hebrew, vice president of the American Zionist Federation and, in 1905, as president of the Jewish Agricultural and Industrial Aid Society.

1859: Birthdate of John Grenfell Maxwell, who as a Lt. Col in his majesty’s army served as commander of the Zion Mule Corps which is considered to be the first “Jewish fighting force” since the end of the Bar Kochba Revolt.

1860: “A meeting of residents in the new suburb of Bayswater was held, and an agreement reached as to the desirability of establishing a new congregation in the neighborhood.”

1861: Jules Mires, the Franco-Jewish banker, was condemned to five years in prison and order to pay a fine of 3,000 francs by the Correctional Tribunal of Paris.

1861 In London Assur Henry Moses and Henrietta Moses gave birth to Marianna Floretta Raphael the wife of Arthur Lewis Raphael.

1865(17th of Tammuz, 5625):Tzom Tammuz

1865(17th of Tammuz, 5625): Author and historian Elias Chaim Lindo, the native of St. Thomas who settled in London in 1832 where he published several works including History of the Jews of Spain and Portugal passed away today.

1866: Upon recurrence of blood libel accusations, Sultan Aziz issued a firman taking the Jews under his protection. Thanks to this firman the Greek Orthodox patriarchate had to issue encyclicals to all churches, forbidding such practices.

1869: Birthdate of Elyakum Heinrich or in German Heinrich Loewe, the German intellectual who attended the first Zionist Congress in Basel and as an orientalist was appointed to a professorship at the University of Berlin in 1915.

1870: Birthdate of Brooklyn native Mitchell May, the graduate of Brooklyn Polytechnic and Columbia University Law school whose political career including serving one term as a member of the U.S. House Representatives and 18 years as justice of the New York State Supreme Court.

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

1877: Reports published today described conditions in Eastern Europe as the Russian Army continues its advance against the forces of Romania including the execution of two spies by the Russians.  According to the reporter, one stood tall and faced his executioners with a sneer before being shot.  The other, a Jew, groveled in front of his captors invoking his forefathers and expressing a willingness to convert if they would spare his life.  He was shot where he lay.  The reporter also included a description of Galician Jews whom he said were “so disgusting that even their co-religionists in Europe and America would refuse them all sympathy if they could see them.”

1877: In Philadelphia, PA, Simon Benjamin Fleisher and Cecilia Hofheimer Fleisher gave birth to Dr. Edwin Adler Fleischer, “one of the most influential and important musical philanthropists of the 20th century” who established the Symphony Club in 1909.



1877: The Fourth Council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations met for a second day in Philadelphia, PA.

1879: In Cleveland, Ohio, Emanuel and Sarah Ullman gave birth to Solomon Emanuel Ullman the “husband of Belle May Lowenstein

1879: Delegates to the Sixth Council of the Union of American and Hebrew Congregations visited various public institutions controlled by the Commissioner of Charities and Corrections followed by visits to various institutions supported by Jewish charities.

1879; In Cincinnati, Ohio, “Louis and Rose (Winkler) Amerberg gave birth to Constance Amberg, the University of Cincinnati graduate who worked as a volunteer in New York settlement houses before marrying attorney William Dick Sporborg and becoming Constance Amberg Sporborg, the mother of Elizabeth and William Dick Sporborg, Jr.


1879: Delegates to the Sixth Council of the Union of American and Hebrew attended a banquet at Delmonico’s

1879: Rabbi Isaac Meyer Wise of Cincinnati delivered a lecture at Temple Emanu-el based on the renewal of the covenant at Gilgal in the days of the prophet Samuel

1881: “The Bible and Science” published today provides a detailed review of Hours With the Bible: Volume II by Cunningham Geikie.  In this second of what will become a multi-volume work, Geike provides an in depth study of the period from Moses to the Judges.

1881: Arnold Bogumil Ehrlich, the native of Wlodawa, Poland who came to New York from Hamburg in 1874 to teach at the Emanu-El Theological School became a naturalized U.S. citizen today, listing as “his occupation ‘Teacher of Languages.’”

1881: In Chicago, Dr. Ellinger read a paper tonight on “Ancient and Modern Rabbis” at a meeting of the Rabbinical Literary Society.  The society is a national organization that draws it membership from Jewish theologians throughout the United States.

1882: As the Freight Handlers’ strike turned violent, Levi Cossowtich, a Russian-Jewish peddler was assaulted this morning at Henderson and 11th Streets by person or persons unknown. At noon, as he went to dinner, Louise Marble, one of the Jewish freight handlers working at the Erie depot, was assaulted and robbed.

1882: Birthdate of German mathematician Leonard Nelson who was the co-founder of The Internationaler Sozialistischer Kampfbund ("International Socialist Militant League")

1883: “Current Foreign Topics” published today described events at the trial in Hungary where Jews who were charged with murdering a Christian girl lost an important witness when a local coachman committed suicide.

1883:  The Hebrew Union Council met for a second day in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Committee on Circuit Preaching reported favorably on a proposal of engaging circuit rabbis to service those areas where the Jewish population is too scattered to support full-time ministers.  The Rabbinical Association asked that the Union provided a fund for “the support of enfeebled ministers in their old age.”

1883: Today’s commencement exercises of the Hebrew Union College are scheduled to be held at the Plum Street Temple in Cincinnati, Ohio followed by a banquet at the Highland House and a reception at the Zoological Garden.  The high point of the event will be the consecration of seven new rabbis, the first such class to be produced by the school and the first rabbis to be trained solely in the United States.[Note HUC would become the flagship institution for the Reform Movement.  While there is a popular misconception of American Jewry being a New York centric culture, in this a city in eastern Ohio, at the entry to the American heartland was the focal point of this significant segment of American Jewry.]

1883: In Cincinnati, Ohio, a banquet was held “in honor of the first graduating class of HUC” and the delegates attending “the Hebrew Union Council” where shell fish were served and other aspects of the Jews dietary laws were violated earning the event the title of “The Trefa Banquet” which marked an irreparable break between the Reform movement and the Orthodox and Conservative branches of Judaism




1883: County Coroner A.F Park came to the Oakdale, Connecticut to examine the body of a 24 year old Russian Jew, Moses Sadock.  Sadock’s body was found in the woods, lying on his back “with his throat cut from ear to ear.” Sadock was the center of a developing scandal involving accusations that he was a bigamist.

1884: As word reached Albany, New York that Governor Grover Cleveland had been selected as the Presidential nominee of the Democrat Party, the Jewish “banking firm of Wormser & Co in New York sent hearty congratulations…”

1884: It was reported today that in Brooklyn, Beth Elohim has hired William Sparger to serve as its rabbi.  The 26 year old Sparger was born in Hungary graduated from Prince Rudolph University of Vienna.  A member of the reforming movement, Sparger replaces Rabbi Mosher who left the pulpit 6 months ago due to illness.

1885: In an attempt to put an end to the disputes with Rabbi Kauffman Kohler of Temple Beth-El, Rabbi Alexander of Kohut of Ahavath Chesed said today, “I desire that it should be understood that as far as I am concerned the pulpit controversy that has been carried out between myself and Dr. Kohler… is declared at end.  I will make no more responses to any of Dr. Kohler’s sermons and expect a reciprocation from in this matter…In the interest of my religion and for the sake of harmony…I wish to avoid controversy in the pulpit.”  This was an attempt to bring an end to the public dispute between these leaders of traditional and liberal Judaism.

1885: In Baltimore, MD, Judge Phelps rendered a decision in the case of the District Grand Lodge of B’nai B’rith v the Jedijah Lodge.  The District had revoked the chapter’s charter and was seeking to recover funds that the lodge had collected.  The judge decided that under the rules of equity, the District Grand Lodge had no right to the funds.

1886: It was reported today that the lady managers of the Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society have accepted the offer of boats from the New York Towing Company to be used for upcoming summer-time excursions.

1889: It was reported today that the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio is in desperate need of funds.  The school is $9,000 in debt and needs an additional $15,500 to maintain operations. (More to added next year)

1889: The Trustees of the Harlem Club met this evening to consider the application for membership of New York State Senator Jacob A. Cantor.  Robert Bonynge nominated him and David F. Porter seconded the nomination.  However, there was enough opposition that it was obvious that the Senator would be “blackballed.”  At the end of the meeting the Trustees refused to announce their decision saying that they would send a letter with the information to Cantor within the next ten days

1889: The cornerstone for a new synagogue to be used by New York’s Sephardic Jews was laid today at the corner of 160 East One Hundred and Sixteenth Street.  This is the second synagogue in New York designed to meet the needs of the Spanish-Portuguese Community.

1889: Joseph Davis, “a junior member of…S&J Davis” a catering firm serving Orange and Newark, NJ, rented a summer cottage for his wife and their children at Ocean Beach after they had been forced to leave the Brunswick Hotel because the proprietor found out that they were Jewish.

1890: Birthdate of Captain Koreshige Inuzuka the native of Tokyo who “was the head of the Japanese Imperial Navy's Advisory Bureau on Jewish Affairs from March 1939 until April 1942” and who in 1941 was granted a silver cigarette case by the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States” for his role in rescuing Jews from Nazi Germany. (Yes history can be convoluted and complicated)

1890: Theatrical manager Daniel Frohman described some of the plays he acquired on his recent trip to London and Paris that will be produced in the coming season. Among them are two French comedies – “Fen Toupinel” and La Femme Nervevie” – and two English comedies – “The Idler” and “The Solicitor”

1891: “The Expatriated Jews” published today described a letter the Assistant Secretary sent to the Acting Superintendent of Immigration at New York to question Russian Jews arriving at his port to see if any of them “had been diverted from their original destination to this country by foreign officials”, to record any such incidents in detail and send the report to Washington.

1891: On New York’s Lower East Side, Dr. Samuel Clurman and his wife Bertha gave birth to World War I veteran Albert Clurman, the graduate of Cornell who earned an LL.B from NYU and went on to practice in his home town.

1891: Birthdate of Otto Armster a German intelligence officer who was one of the few participants in the July 20 plot to assassinate Hitler who survived WW II.

1891: Israel Pimkus a sixty year old Russian Jew was among the passengers who arrived at New York’s Barge Office aboard the SS Fürst Bismarck. When asked if he would become a public charge he opened a satchel containing $17,500 which he said he was planning on using to buy land in the “West” before sending for his brothers.

1892: Birthdate of Hungarian born Dr. Joseph Shick, a chaplain in the Hungarian Army during WW I who came to the United States in 1922 where he served as the Rabbi of the West Side Jewish Center and the principal of the West Side Hebrew School.

1892: “Close of the Rabbis’ Convention” published today described the final session of “the annual convention of American rabbis that ended last night at a well-attended meeting at Temple Israel on 125th Street and Fifth Avenue.

1892: In Little Rock AR, eighty-two year old Samuel Bloch, a well-known writer who had lived in Cincinnati and Chicago passed away today.

1893(27thof Tammuz, 5653): Israel Joshua Trunk, the rabbi at Kutno, passed away today.


1894: In San Francisco, Stella (Stettheimer) and Sigmund Feuchtwanger gave birth to Walter Feuchtwanger who gained fame as movie producer Walter Wagner.

1894: “Aid For The Workingman” published today describes the success of the Order of Round Robins a fraternal and welfare organization designed to benefits workers and employers originally conceived by Colonel Jacob Bloom, the manager of the Baron de Hirsch Trade School located in New York City.

1894: The representatives of the United Hebrew Trades Union, the Socialist Party and the Knights of Labor met tonight at the Labor Lyceum to finalize plans for the upcoming mass meeting in Union Square.

1894: A list of the amount of annual appropriations of state moneys to be paid to different New York institutions and the year the appropriation was first approved included the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum $110 per head by law of 1874, Hebrew Sheltering Guardian Society $104 per head by law of 1889 and the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children $5,000 a year by law of

1894: In Albany, during the Constitutional Convention’s Committees on Legislate Powers, Education, Taxation and Charities hearing “on the question of abolishing sectarian appropriations Elbridge T. Gerry expressed his fear that adoption “would cripple the great Hebrew Guardian Society.”

1894: Samuel Gompers will chair the meeting of the Executive Council of the American Federation of Labor in Chicago where they will discuss the possibility of a general strike if the current strike against Pullman fails.

1895: In Rochester, NY, the annual Central Conference of American Rabbis continues to meet for a second day.

1895: A list of the bequests of the late Moses Heidelbach published today included $500 to Mount Sinai Hospital; a one thousand dollar bond to the Hebrew Benevolent and Orphan Asylum of New York City; $500 to Abraham Friedlander which he is to contribute charities in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1895: According to figures published today during the month of June, the Employment Bureau of the United Hebrew Charities of New York found employment for 667 of its 748 applicants

1896: Herzl achieves the agreement of Sir Samuel Montagu and Colonel Goldsmid to work with him for a vassal Jewish state under Turkish rule. Goldsmid promises to write a letter to Baron Rothschild.

1897: Forty Jewish families from Poland who..
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July 10

48 BCE: In his war with Pompey, Julius Caesar barely avoids defeat at the Battle of Dyrrhachium.  A month later, after regrouping his forces, Caesar defeated Pompey at the Battle of Pharsalus.  While neither of the Roman leaders were candidates for humanitarian of the year, Caesar was the better of the two; certainly from a Jewish point of view.  Pompey had shown his contempt for the Jews when he desecrated the Holy of Holies.  Caesar, on the other hand, took a benevolent attitude towards the Jews and did not mistreat them.

138: The Roman Emperor Hadrian died. From a Jewish perspective, Hadrian would have to rank as one of the worst of the Roman Emperors.  He triggered the Bar Kochbah Revolt with his anti-Jewish decrees that included a ban on circumcision and the announcement that he was going to build a Temple to Jupiter in Jerusalem thus turning the sacred city of the Jews into a pagan shrine. The three yearlong rebellion was a savage one at the end of which over half a million Jewish rebels were killed.  Furthermore so many towns and villages were laid waste that home of the Jews became a veritable wasteland.  While the Romans may have one the victory must have been a hollow one since, when making his report to the Senate, Hadrian omitted that standard victory statement, “I am my army are well.”  Hadrian took his vengeance on the Jews.  He had a Torah scroll burned on the Temple Mount.  He renamed Jerusalem Aelia Capitolina and changed the name of the country from Judea to Syria Palestina. We are reminded of Hadrian’s evil each year at the High Holiday season when we remember the martyrs who slain by him for continuing to teach the Torah.  Ironically, Hadrian’s handpicked successor would repeal many of Hadrian’s anti-Semitic decrees.  But the damage was one and the fate of the Jews of in Eretz Israel continued on a downward spiral.

988: The City of Dublin is founded on the banks of the river Liffey. Since the earliest mention of Jews dates from 1079, there were no Jews among the founders.  During the first half of the 20thcentury the Portobello section of Dublin was known as Little Jerusalem because it was the center of the Irish Jewish community.  Ironically, the most famous Jewish “citizen” of Little Jerusalem never really lived there because he was “Leopold Bloom, the fictional Jewish character at the heart of the James Joyce novel Ulysses, lived at 52 Clanbrassil Street Upper.”

1236: In Anjou, France, “crusading monks trampled three thousand Jews to death and destroyed the community.” (The History of the Jewish People)

1290: King Ladislaus IV of Hungary died. His reign was not one of the high points in the history of Hungarian Jewry. The Synod of Buda which was held during his reign decreed that every Jew appearing in public should wear on the left side of his upper garment a piece of red cloth; that any Christian transacting business with a Jew not so marked, or living in a house or on land together with any Jew, should be refused admittance to the Church services; and that a Christian entrusting any office to a Jew should be excommunicated.

1391: As news of the Spanish riots reached Majorca, riots broke out all over the island. Despite the efforts of Francisco Sa Garriga, the local viceroy, in many towns the entire Jewish community was destroyed and its inhabitants either converted or murdered. Over 110 families converted; the remnants fled to North Africa. Although the following year a number Jews were again invited to reside there, a blood libel 40 years later ended the 800-year old Jewish community.

1509: Birthdate of Protestant religious leader and theologian John Calvin.  According to at least one commentator, Calvin “generally had a more benevolent view of the Jews” than did other Protestant reformers such as Martin Luther.  “Although at times his remarks could be acerbic, he nevertheless taught that the Bible indicated a time when Israel would be restored by coming to faith in their Messiah.  In speaking about the Jews, Calvin said,  "I extend the word Israel to all the people of God, according to this meaning, ­When the Gentiles shall come in, the Jews also shall return from their defection to the obedience of faith; and thus shall be completed the salvation of the whole Israel of God, which must be gathered from both; and yet in such a way that the Jews shall obtain the first place, being as it were the first born in God's family.” “As Jews are the firstborn, what the Prophet declares must be fulfilled, especially in them: for that scripture calls all the people of God Israelites, it is to be ascribed to the pre-eminence of that nation, who God had preferred to all other nations...God distinctly claims for himself a certain seed, so that his redemption may be effectual in his elect and peculiar nation...God was not unmindful of the covenant which he had made with their fathers, and by which he testified that according to his eternal purpose he loved that nation: and this he confirms by this remarkable declaration, ­that the grace of the divine calling cannot be made void." One of the issues confronting Christians was the determination of the proper age for Baptism.  Calvin believed in the baptism of infants.  He saw baptism as analogous to circumcision – a rite by which the child is sealed in the faith of his fathers.  Since God had ordained circumcision for Jewish infants, it was obvious that He intended for Christian to undergo their version of the ritual as infants as well.

1548: Eighteen hundred marranos were released from the prisons of the Portuguese Inquisition

1733: George Frederick Handel conducted the premiere performance of “Athalia” at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford, UK. This was one of many times that the German born British musical giant used Jewish Biblical tales as the theme for his musical masterpieces. In this case, his work was based on the literary masterpiece by Racine which is fairly accurate depiction of this Jewish Lady Macbeth.

1767: George Goldsmid married Rebecca Cohen in Amersfoort, Holland.

1778: The French King, Louis XVI, allies his nation with the American revolutionaries and declares war on Great Britain. French support of the newly created United States was a decisive factor in the success of the American Revolution which gave birth to a nation that has provided Jews with unparalleled opportunities for success and safety.  At the same time, the king’s support of the American cause helped to bankrupt France; a bankruptcy which was a key element in bringing about the French Revolution which changed France into a land where Jews were able to flourish during the 19thand first half of the 20th century.   

1781(17thof Tammuz, 5541): Tzom Tammuz

1781: Esther Mordecai and Philip Moses Russell who “was a surgeon’s mate at Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War” gave birth to Zipporah Russell who married Isaac D. Mordecai and became Zipporah Russell Mordecai the mother of Isaac, John and Samuel Mordecai.

1782: In Mogador, Morocco, “Eliahu Ha’Levi ibn Yuli a Shab as-Sultan (a court Jew) to Mohammed ben Abdallah, Sultan Sidi Muhammed III” and his wife gave birth to Moses Elias Levy, the father of David Levy Yulee, the future U.S. Senator from the state of Florida.


1800(17thof Tammuz, 5560): Tzom Tammuz is observed for the first time in the 19thcentury and the last time during the Presidency of John Adams.

1829: Birthdate of Filosseno (Philoxene) Luzzatto, an Italian scholar, who devoted himself to the study of Sanskrit and Semitic Languages. A native of Trieste, he was the son of Samuel David Luzzatto

1830: Birthdate of Camille Pissarro. Of Sephardic extraction, he became an important Impressionist painter and teacher. He mostly painted the busy streets of Paris and landscapes. He was associated with Monet and Corot. In the last years of his life he achieved recognition, and although suffering from an eye ailment painted 160 works in the last three years of his life.


1835: In Lublin, Tadeusz Wieniawski, Sr. and Regina Wieniawska gave birth to Henryk Wieniawski the husband of Izabella Wieniawska.

1837: Thirty-four year old Moritz Moses Jacob von Goldschmidt and Anna Netti von Goldschmidt gave birth to Theodor von Goldschmidt.

1839(28thof Tammuz, 5599): Seventy-two year old Philadelphia native Joseph Mordecai the third son of Moses and Elizabeth “Esther” Mordecai and the husband of Esther “Hetty” Marache the daughter of Solomon and Rebecca Marche who had lived in Virginia and South Carolina passed away today in Charleston.


1845: John Cuffe, 3rd Earl of Desart, and Lady Elizabeth Lucy Campbell gave birth to William Cuffe, 4th Earl of Desart who married Ellen Odette Cuffe, Countess of Desart, the daughter of German banker Henri Louis Bischoffsheim who has been described as “the most important Jewish woman in Irish history.”

1849: The United States Department of the Interior is established. Joel D. Wolfsohn who served as Assistant Secretary of the Department from in the final months of the Truman Administration appears to be the highest ranking Jew to have served at the Department of the Interior. He served from July 10, 1952 through February 20, 1953.

1850: Millard Fillmore is inaugurated as the 13th President of the United States upon the death of President Zachary Taylor, 16 months into his term. In 1851, Fillmore expressed his opposition to ratifying a treaty with Switzerland that would allow the Swiss to discriminate against American Jews.  The Senate did not ratify the treaty. In 1852, Fillmore became the first President to try and appoint a Jew to the Supreme Court when he offered the position to Judah P. Benjamin, the U.S. Senator from Louisiana.  Benjamin declined the offer.

1855: Birthdate of Isaac Newton Seligman, the New York born son of Joseph Seligman who was an “American banker and communal worker.” Educated at Columbia Grammar School and Columbia College, from which he graduated in 1876, Seligman was one of the crew which won the university eight-oar college race on Saratoga Lake in 1874. In 1878, after having finished an apprenticeship in the firm of Seligman & Hellman, New Orleans, he joined the New York establishment, of which he became head in 1880, on the death of his father. A trustee of nineteen important commercial, financial, and other institutions and societies, including the Munich Life Assurance Company, St. John's Guild, and the McKinley Memorial Association, and he has also been a member of the Committee of Seventy, of Fifteen, and of Nine, each of which attempted at various times to reform municipal government in New York; of the last-named body he was chairman. He has served as a trustee of Temple Emanu-El, the Hebrew Orphan Asylum and the United Hebrew Charities. (From the Jewish Encyclopedia)

1857: The correspondent for the New York Times writes from London today that the House of Lords will vote tonight on the “Jew Bill” and if it is rejected, Rothschild will resign immediately.

1862: Today, “the Chief Rabbi, Dr. N.M. laid the foundation stone” for the Bayswater Synagogue on Chichester Road.

1864: Carl-Hyman Marcuse and Sophie Lewis, the parents of Wyatt Earp’s mistress Sadie Marcus, gave birth to Henrietta Marcus.

1865: “Miscellaneous: The Jews In the Papal States” published today reported that “The Vicar-General of Velletri has issued an order permitting Jews to remain ten days in that town upon lawful and honest business. During that time they must net return to their lodgings later than 1 o'clock in the morning, or leave before dawn. They are forbidden to approach all monasteries, academics and other pious places under episcopal jurisdiction, and in their intercourse and conversation with Christians they are to refrain from familiarity. The violation of any of these dispositions is to be punished by imprisonment and a fine of five crowns, to be applied to pious establishments.”

1865: The party under the command of Captain Charles Wilson that had made the most recent and most accurate survey of Jerusalem arrived in England.

1866: “In the village Shekhman, Tambov Governorate in Russia (now Tambov Oblast),” French surgeon Serge Abrahamovitch Voronoff, the son of “Abram Veniaminovich Voronov, a distiller and Rachel-Esther Lipsky was circumcised today in a synagogue.

1871: In Brooklyn, Nathan May and Matilda Mulhauser gave birth to Columbia School graduate Mitchell May, the Congressman from the 6th New York Congressional District, Secretary of State of New York, state Supreme Court Justice and husband of Pauline Joli.

1871: Birthdate of French author Marcel Proust.  The following excerpt from “Marcel Proust” provides an interesting insight into Proust’s Jewish origins and his literary treatment of his ancestors on his mother’s side. “Marcel Proust was the son of a Christian father and a Jewish mother. He himself was baptized (on August 5, 1871, at the church of Saint-Louis d'Antin) and later confirmed as a Catholic, but he never practiced that faith and as an adult could best be described as a mystical atheist, someone imbued with spirituality who nonetheless did not believe in a personal God, much less in a savior. Although Jews trace their religion through their mothers, Proust never considered himself Jewish and even became vexed when a newspaper article listed him as a Jewish author. His father once warned him not to stay in a certain hotel since there were "too many" Jewish guests there, and, to be sure, in Remembrance of Things Past there are unflattering caricatures of the members of one Jewish family, the Blochs. Jews were still considered exotic, even "oriental," in France; in 1872 there were only eighty-six thousand Jews in the whole country. In a typically offensive passage Proust writes that in a French drawing room "a Jew making his entry as though he were emerging from the desert, his body crouching like a hyena's, his neck thrust forward, offering profound `salaams,' completely satisfies a certain taste for the oriental."  Proust never refers to his Jewish origins in his fiction, although in the youthful novel he abandoned, Jean Santeuil(first published only in 1952, thirty years after his death), there is a very striking, if buried, reference to Judaism. The autobiographical hero has quarreled with his parents and in his rage deliberately smashed a piece of delicate Venetian glass his mother had given him. When he and his mother are reconciled, he tells her what he has done: "He expected that she would scold him, and so revive in his mind the memory of their quarrel. But there was no cloud upon her tenderness. She gave him a kiss, and whispered in his ear: `It shall be, as in the Temple, the symbol of an indestructible union.'" This reference to the rite of smashing a glass during the Orthodox Jewish wedding ceremony, in this case sealing the marriage of mother to son, is not only spontaneous but chilling. In an essay about his mother he referred, with characteristic ambiguity, to "the beautiful lines of her Jewish face, completely marked with Christian sweetness and Jansenist resignation, turning her into Esther herself"--a reference, significantly, to the heroine of the Old Testament (and of Racine's play), who concealed her Jewish identity until she had become the wife of King Ahasuerus and was in a position to save her people. The apparently gentile Proust, who had campaigned for Dreyfus and had been baptized Catholic, was a sort of modern Esther.  Despite Proust's silences and lapses on the subject of his mother's religion, it would be unfair, especially in light of the rampant anti-Semitism of turn-of-the-century France, to say that he was unique or even extreme in his prejudice against Jews. And yet his anti-Semitism is more than curious, given his love for his mother and given, after her death, something very much like a religious cult that he developed around her. His mother, out of respect for her parents, had remained faithful to their religion, and Proust revered her and her relatives; after her death he regretted that he was too ill to visit her grave and the graves of her parents and uncle in the Jewish cemetery and to mark each visit with a stone. More important, although he had many friends among the aristocracy whom he had assiduously cultivated, nevertheless when he was forced to take sides during the Dreyfus Affair, which had begun in 1894 and erupted in 1898, he chose to sign a petition prominently printed in a newspaper calling for a retrial. The Dreyfus Affair is worth a short detour, since it split French society for many years and it became a major topic in Proust's life--and in Remembrance of Things Past. Alfred Dreyfus (1859-1935) was a Jew and a captain in the French army. In December 1894 he was condemned by a military court for having sold military secrets to the Germans and was sent for life to Devil's Island. The accusation was based on the evidence of a memorandum stolen from the German embassy in Paris (despite the fact that the writing did not resemble Dreyfus's) and of a dossier (which was kept classified and secret) handed over to the military court by the minister of war. In 1896 another French soldier, Major Georges Picquart, proved that the memorandum had been written not by Dreyfus but by a certain Major Marie Charles Esterhazy. Yet Esterhazy was acquitted and Picquart was imprisoned. Instantly a large part of the population called for a retrial of Dreyfus. On January 13, 1898, the writer Emile Zola published an open letter, "J'accuse," directed against the army's general staff; Zola was tried and found guilty of besmirching the reputation of the army. He was forced to flee to England. Then in September 1898 it was proved that the only piece of evidence against Dreyfus in the secret military dossier had been faked by Joseph Henry, who confessed his misdeed and committed suicide. At last the government ordered a retrial of Dreyfus. Public opinion was bitterly divided between the leftist Dreyfusards, who demanded "justice and truth," and the anti-Dreyfusards, who led an anti-Semitic campaign, defended the honor of the army, and rejected the call for a retrial. The conflict led to a virtual civil war. In 1899 Dreyfus was found guilty again, although this time under extenuating circumstances--and the president pardoned him. Only in 1906 was Dreyfus fully rehabilitated, named an officer once again, and decorated with the Legion of Honor. Interestingly, Theodor Herzl, the Paris correspondent for a Viennese newspaper, was so overwhelmed by the virulent anti-Semitism of the Dreyfus Affair that he was inspired by the prophetic idea of a Jewish state.  In defending Dreyfus, Proust not only angered conservative, Catholic, pro-army aristocrats, but he also alienated his own father. In writing about the 1890s in Remembrance of Things Past, Proust remarks that "the Dreyfus case was shortly to relegate the Jews to the lowest rung of the social ladder." Typically, the ultraconservative Gustave Schlumberger, a great Byzantine scholar, could give in his posthumous memoirs as offensive a description of his old friend Charles Haas (a model for Proust's character Swann) as this: "The delightful Charles Haas, the most likeable and glittering socialite, the best of friends, had nothing Jewish about him except his origins and was not afflicted, as far as I know, with any of the faults of his race, which makes him an exception virtually unique." It would be misleading to suggest that Proust took his controversial, pro-Dreyfus stand simply because he was half-Jewish. No, he was only obeying the dictates of his conscience, even though he lost many highborn Catholic friends by doing so and exposed himself to the snide anti-Semitic accusation of merely automatically siding with his co-religionists.”

1876: The New York Times featured a review of Clarel: A Poem and Pilgrimage in the Holy Land a two volume American epic poem by Herman Melville, “Clarel,” the longest poem in American literature, is divided into four parts – Jerusalem, The Wilderness, Mar Saba, Bethlehem – and epilogue.

1877: According to reports circulating on Wall Street today, Mr. Gabriel Netter “of the Jewish banking house of Netter & Co…had received a letter from Saratoga signed ‘Wilkinson,’ saying that the Grand Union Hotel proprietors would be happy to extend all the accommodations the hotel affords to Mr. Netter and his family.”  Mr. Netter refused to confirm or deny if he had received such a letter.  But, if he had, he had no intention of responding.

1877: In Berlin, Harry and Caroline Breslau gave birth to Ernst Ludwig Bresslau

1877: The fourth council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregation opened this morning at St. George’s Hall in Philadelphia and as the first order of business elected B.F. Peixtto President.

1878: Approximately 300 people attended a banquet at the Plankinton House given by the Jews of Milwaukee in honor of the delegates of the Hebrew Council meeting here.

1879: Mr. William B. Hackenburg, President of the Sixth Council of the Union of American and Hebrew Congregations, called the morning session of the Council to order at 9:30 A. M. today. Dr. Samuel Hirsch of Philadelphia delivered the opening prayer.  Among other matters of business, the delegates debated whether or not to fund a project that would raise money for the purchase of land so that Jewish immigrants could become farmers.

1879: Delegates to the Sixth Council of the Union of American and Hebrew Congregations hold a banquet at Delmonico’s for which “a competent Jewish caterer has been engaged to supervise the preparation of the dinner.”

1881: The New York Times published an extensive review of Poems and Ballads of Heinrich Heine translated by Emma Lazarus.  The reviewer does not see any irony in the work of the apostate Jew being translated by a leading American Jewish poetess.

1881: It was reported today that Sir Edward Poynter is about to begin another of his larger than life historical paintings which is titled “Visit of the Queen of Sheba to Solomon.” The canvas will be 8 feet by 5 feet depicting the queen ascending the steps to the throne of the Jewish monarch.  [Note – Poynter had already drawn on Jewish themes when he painted “Israel in Egypt” in 1867.

1881: “German Army Volunteers” published today provided a detailed account of the recruiting and service paradigms in the Kaiser’s military including the fact that “the sons of Jews, seldom, if ever compete for commissions because they know they could not get them.”

1881: It was reported today that Tavistock House, the home for many years of Charles Dickens, has been purchased by Jews’ College a twenty-five year old day school in London that was established as a day school for training rabbis.

1882: This morning, 250 Jewish exiles arrived in St. Louis, MO. These European refugees, who have terrible tales to tell about their treatment in the Old World, are destitute so they are being cared for by a local committee of their coreligionists.

1882: It was reported today that the first free excursion-boat trip of the season sponsored by the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children will take place later week.

1883: The SS Lydian Monarch arrived in New York from London.  Among the passengers were five Jewish families from Poland.  According to these passengers, their tickets had been paid for by either the Hebrew Society in London or the Hebrew Ladies’ Society of London.  While the English Jews had provided them with passage, they had not..
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July 9

118: Hadrian, Rome's new emperor, made his entry into the Imperial City. Regardless of how history remembers him, for Jews, Hadrian is the Emperor who helped to start the Third Rebellion against Rome. In this case it was the lead by Bar Kochba and supported by Rabbi Akiva. It lasted from 132 until 135. It was the last uprising against Rome and really marked the beginning of the end of a vital Jewish community in Palestine.

425: A decree of the emperors Theodosius II and Valentinian III, addressed to Amatius, prefect of Gaul prohibited Jews and pagans from practicing law and from holding public offices ("militandi"), in order that Christians should not be in subjection to them, and thus be incited to change their faith.

491: Anastasius I begins his reign as the Byzantine Emperor. The reign of Anastasius marked the renewal of warfare with the Sassanid Empire.  The Sassanid Empire was the name given to the Persian Empire of the day.  This renewal of warfare would have a negative impact on the Jews who ruled the island of Yotabe also known as Tiran, which is in the straits of Tiran.  The Jews of Yotabe played an instrumental role in the trade along the Red Sea and when the Byzantines sought to move East to take control of this trade and defeat the Sassanids, they would replace the Jewish leaders with their own people.

507: At Daphne (near Antioch in Syria), a sporting event was held in the form of a chariot race between two parties, the Greens and the Whites. For no apparent reason, the supporters of the greens attacked the local synagogue killing those Jews who were inside.

518: Byzantine Emperor Anastasius I, whose war with the Sassanid Empire doomed the Red Sea trading activities of the Jews of Yotabe, passed away today.

1228: Cardinal Stephen Langton, who in 1218, as the Archbishop Canterbury “made Jews wear an oblong white patch of two finger-lengths by four” which made them an easy to identify mark for the mobs, encouraged by the Barons to ransack Jewish homes and destroy the “records of the debts owed by the nobility, passed away today.

721: The Franks defeat the Muslims at the Battle of Toulouse.  This victory checks the spread of Islam in Western Europe which will be confined to Spain.  This will not be the last battle between these forces. That will be left to Charles Martel who led the Franks at the Battle of Tours eleven years later.

1391: Violence in Valencia, Spain that had begun a month earlier under the direction Ferrand Martinez continued unabated. Ferrand Martinez was the Archdeacon of Ecija in the fourteenth century, and one of the most inveterate enemies of the Jewish people. Among Christians he was highly respected for his piety and philanthropy. In his sermons and public discourses he continually fanned the hatred of the Christian population against the Jews, to whom he ascribed all sorts of vices. As vicar-general of Archbishop Barroso of Seville he arrogated to himself the right of jurisdiction over the Jews in his diocese, injuring them wherever he could, and demanding that the magistrates of Alcalá de Guadeyra, Ecija, and other places no longer suffer the Jews among them. The community of Valencia was destroyed and 250 Jews massacred. Many others including the king's physician converted to Christianity while still others found refuge in the houses of their Christian neighbors.

1391:  A rabbi's personal letter written in Saragossa, Spain on this date is one of the few firsthand accounts of the total chaos in Spain: "If I were to tell you here all the numerous sufferings we have endured you would be dumbfounded at the thought of them…On the day of the New Moon of the fateful month Tammuz in the year 5151, the Lord bent the bow of the enemies against the populous community of Seville where there were between 6,000-7,000 heads of families, and they destroyed the gates by fire and killed in that very place a great number of people; the majority, however, changed their faith.

1553: “The Elector Maurice of Saxony” who in 1542 “expelled the Jews from Zwickau” where they had lived since 1308 and who expelled them from Plauen in 1543 passed away today.

1667(17thof Tammuz, 5427): Joseph Athias’ father Abraham Athias, a Marrano Jew, was burnt at the stake together with the Marranos Jacob Rodríguez Cáceres and Raquel Nuñez Fernández in Córdoba by the Spanish Inquisition

1701: During the War of the Spanish Succession which began today, Samson Wertheimer, the Hungarian Rabbi turned Austrian financier and “court Jew” united with Samuel Oppenheimer to procure the money necessary for the equipment of the Austrian imperiall army and for the supply of provisions.

1713: Lourença Coutinho the mother of Portugese dramatist António José da Silva who was known as “O Judeu” or “The Jew” died today in today’s the auto-da-fé

1730(24h of Tammuz, 5490): Sixty-nine year old Issachar Berend Lehman, one of the leading court Jews of the 16th and 17th century who used the influence he gained with various German princes due to his business acumen to better the lot of his coreligionists.

1733: Abigaill Levy Franks, the most noted of American Jewish colonial letter writers, wrote her son Naphtali, admonishing him to eat nothing but "bread & butter" wherever food preparation was "not done after our Strict Juidacall [kosher] method."

1746: “In the middle of the night, two Jews of the Roman ghetto, Amadio Abbina and Sabato Isacco Ambron, left the city. (The description of their adventures and the places they visited during their long pilgrimage to the Holy Land have reached us for the first time in 2012 in manuscripts published by Paola Abbina and Asher Salah. By providing a biographical sketch of these two intrepid Jewish friends, this lecture by Asher Salah (Bezalel Academy) aims at understanding the reasons why they undertook such a perilous journey.)

1749(23rdof Tammuz, 5509):Ezekiel Katzenellenbogen ben Abraham passed away. Born in Lithuania was a Polish-German rabbi who served the communities at Kėdainiai (Keidani) and Altona.

1754: During the French and Indian War, the name of Michael Franks, a member of the Jewish family that supplied soldiers in this and the Revolutionary War, appeared as a private in a roster of created today by Captain van Braam.

1765: Samuel Israel, Alexander Solomon, and Joseph Depalacios, three Sephardim who were the first Jews in Alabama bought property today in Mobile County.

1791: Judah Cohen married Gracia Da Costa in Kingston, Jamaica.

1797: Edmund Burke, British philosopher and statesman, passed away.  Burke is the author of the quote “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”  This quote has often been used by commentators and historians in attempts to explain the Holocaust.

1797: Gompertz Alexander married Betsy Simon at the Great Synagouge.

1804: Birthdate of Jonas Bondi, the native of Dresden who was the rabbi at Anshe Chesed in New York before he began publishing The Hebrew Leader  and whose daughter Selma married the founder of the Reform Movement in the United States Isaac M. Wise.

1805: Levy Ephraim Green married Emilia Hyams at the Great Synagogue.

1816:  Argentina declares independence from Spain. The first Jews probably came to Argentina as conversos following the Spanish Inquisition.  Bernardino Rivadavia, Argentina’s first president gave support to policies that promoted freedom of immigration and respect for human rights, including the abolishing of the Inquisition. These changes in the social and political climate paved the way for a new wave of Jewish immigration.

1825: Birthdate of Hamburg native, Julius Oppert, who eventually settled in France where he gained fame as an Assyriologist.

1826: David Jonassohn married Charlotte Bauer in Hamburg, Germany
1833: In Mayence, Samuel and Sophie Bondi gave birth to Baruch-Bertram Bondi.

1835: The dedicatory date on the tombstone of Mrs. Shoshan Levi in The Penang Jewish Cemetery.

1841(20thof Tammuz, 5601): Joseph “Yosef” Friedlander, he son of Aharon Jehuda Friedlander and the husband of Gittel Rinkel who was a dealer in second hand close passed away today.

1842: Lt. Colonel Max-Théodore Cerfberr who served as president of the Consistoire Central Israelite de France “took his seat in the Chamber Deputies” today “as representative from Wissembourg.

1845: In London, Dr. Nathan Marcus Adler “was inaugurated as Chief Rabbi of the Great Synagogue.”

1845: Joseph Magnus married Emma Fileman.

1845: Lazarus Phillips married Bloomah Marks at the Great Synagogue.

1846: The chief rabbis of Baghdad announced a curse (Herem) on the Christian missionaries who had come to convert the Jews in their community.

1847: “The Jewish Chronicle” went from being published every two weeks to being published as a weekly.

1850:  President Zachary Taylor dies and Millard Fillmore becomes the 13th President of the United States.  Millard Fillmore is one the lesser known U.S. Presidents.  But he played a major role in furthering the acceptance of Jews as full citizens of the United States.  In 1851, the United States Senate considered a treaty with Switzerland.  The treaty included a clause that would the governments of the individual Swiss Cantons to treat U.S. citizens in the same way they treated their own citizens.  Some of the cantons had laws that discriminated against Jews.  Ratification of the treaty would have meant that American citizens could be treated differently based on their religion.   Fillmore declared that part of the treat to be “a decisive objection.  In leading the successful opposition to the treaty Fillmore declared that “neither by law, nor by treaty, nor by any other official proceeding is it competent for the Government of the United States to establish any distinction between its citizens founded on differences in religious beliefs.”

1850:A major fire struck Philadelphia in which “many Israelites shared in the same calamity, which overwhelmed their neighbors.” Among the dead were two or three members of the Marcus family including the eldest son and daughter. At least one other Israelite was reported as being “severely wounded.
1851: In London Caroline Antonine Geradine Louyet married Jacob Levi Montefiore, the son Isaac Levi and his wife Esther Hannah, née Montefiore.  “Esther was a first cousin of Sir Moses Montefiore and connected to the Rothschilds by marriage. Jacob and his brothers adopted the name of Montefiore.”

1856: In Philadelphia, Meyer Guggenheim and his wife gave birth industrialist and philanthropist Daniel Guggenheim.

1856: On Rikers Island, “Young Barney Aaron won a” the son of British bareknuckle boxer Barney Aaron won a bout that “lasted 80 rounds” or “2 hours and 20 minutes.

1856: Ellis Abraham Frankline married Adelaide Samuel at the Great Synagogue today.

1858:  Birthdate of Franz Boas, “the Father of American Anthropology.”

1860(19th of Tammuz, 5620): Forty nine year old Charleston, SC native Eleazer Levy Hyams passed away today in Natchitoches.

1860: Dr. Barnard Van Oven who in 1827 had been appointed physician to the poor of the Great Synagogue and who was one of the pioneers in the movement for the removal of the disabilities of the Jews in England as can be seen by his pamphlet "An Appeal to the British Nation on Behalf of the Jews “passed away today. Van Oven was following in the footsteps of his father Joshua Van Ovan the English surgeon who established the Jews’ Free School and the Jews’ Hospital in Mile End.

1861: Union forces that would come to include the Cameron Dragoons (officially the 65th Regiment led by Colonel Max Friedman and which contained a large segment of Philadelphia Jews) skirmished at Vienna, Virginia as they made their way to Manassas where they would fight the First Battle of Bull Run.

1862: The Jew's Hospital is reported to be one of the places to which those wounded on the battle fields of the Peninsula are being brought.

1866: Four days after he had passed away, forty-four year old Edmund Myer Tobias, “the youngest son of Myer Tobias and Hannah Wolf” was buried today at the Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.

1871(20th of Tammuz, 5631): Sixty-six year old Lelio Hillel Della Torre, the Italian rabbi who was the son of Solomon Jehiel Raphael ha-Kohen passed away today in Padua.

1870: Jonathan Manly Emanual, the son of London born Dr. Manly Emanuel, who began serving in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War in 1862 began an eleven month stint on board the Dictator.

1873: In Cincinnati, Ohio, a conference of Jewish leaders formed the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and adopted a constitution for the organization.  The Union is committed to establishing a theological college.  Membership in the Union is open to all Jewish congregations in the United States.

1875: A lodge of B’nai B’rith was formed today in Austin, TX making it the first officially Jewish organization in the state’s capital city.

1875: In New York, Judge Richard Larremore denied the motion for a permanent injunction sought by Israel J. Solomon in which the plaintiff sought to enjoin the trustees of B’Nai Jeshrun from making “innovations in the mode of worship.”  Specifically, he sought to prevent the congregation from putting an end to separate seating for men and women which would mean that families could sit together.  He claimed that “the proposed mingling of the sexes” would in violation of the charter” of the synagogues “and the ancient custom of Polish and German Jews.”  He also claimed that the change violated “his rights as a pew owner” and was conducive to immorality. Essentially, the Judge ruled that the matter at hand was, as a matter of law, to be decided by the religious authorities and not the civil courts.

1877: Henry Hilton wrote a letter to a friend of his in Chicago defending his decision to ban Jews as guest at the Grand Union Hotel in Saratoga Springs, NY.  Hilton said that he had expected some “adverse criticism” when he made the decision.  The new hotel had been completed at great expense and if he did not ban Jews, he would lose “other and more valuable guests.” He did not fear a boycott of his businesses by the Jews and said that if the reverse were done the Jews would be the ultimate losers.  As far as Hilton knew, the law allowed an owner to ban whomsoever he wished notwithstanding all of the objections from “Moses and all his descendants.”

1879: Delegates to the Sixth Council of the Union of American and Hebrew Congregations enjoy an excursion to Manhattan Beach

1879: The Sixth Council of the Union of American and Hebrew Congregations met this morning at 9 for it second and final day.  After approving committee reports, the council voted to meet again on the second Tuesday of July 1881 in Chicago, Illinois.

1881: “Old Indigo and the New” published today provided a history of this ancient material which “the Jews first introduced into Europe as dye during the Middle Ages.”  The Jews “practiced the art of dyeing with” indigo “and other coloring matters on the shores of the Levant.”

1882: In Wheeling, West Virginia, General Morris Horkheimer, the Republican political leader and Cecilia Horkheimer gave birth Herbert Morris Horkehimer

1882: In “A Plea for the Egyptians” published today, Simon Wolf, the American Jew who has been serving as the United States Consul-General in Egypt summarizes his view of the current situation in Egypt.  After describing the divisions within the society and presenting a socio-economic snapshot of the country, he reports the desire of the local population to be free of the Ottomans but not at the expense of taking on a European yoke.  He sees the British as the greatest threat to progress and independence and expresses the view that America should support the Egyptians in their attempts to modernize their society. [Note – In tone and in some case in fact, one can see a prequel of descriptions and aspirations tied to the 21stcentury Arab Spring.]

1882: Birthdate of Samuel Lionel "Roxy" Rothafel, the native of Stillwater, MN, “a showman of the 1920s silent film era and the impresario for many of the great New York movie palaces that he managed such as the Strand, Rialto, Rivoli, Capitol, the eponymous Roxy Theatre in New York City and the Radio City Music Hall who passed away in 1936

1883: The funeral of Joseph Reckendorfer is scheduled to take place at his home in New York City. Reckendorfer was a prominent member of the Jewish community as can be seen by the notices requesting members of Temple Emanu-El, members of the Board of Relief of the United Hebrew Charities and the Directors of the Hebrew Orphan Asylum to attend the funeral.  His success in the world of commerce can be seen by a similar request to members and officers of the Stationer’s Board of Trade. Reckendorfer will be remembered by his associates as the man who bought Hyman Lipman’s patent for attaching an eraser to the end of pencil in 1862 for $100,000 only to have the Supreme Court declare the patent invalid in a case in 185 involving Faber Castell.

1883: In New York City, Samuel and Rosalie Abraham gave birth to Columbia University trained chemist, who became chairman of the board of Ruberoid Company and author of authoritative Asphalt and Allied Substances who was the husband of the former Dorothy Jacoby.

1884: Birthdate of Mikhail Gruzenberg, the Belarus native known as Comintern agent Mikhail Borodin.

1884: “Destruction of the Judengasse” published today informed those planning to visit Frankfort this summer that one of the sights described in their guide books – the Judengasse – will have disappeared by the time they arrive in the German city. The Judgengasse (Jew’s Alley) was the ghetto established for the Jews in the 15th century. In 1808 the gates that had locked the Jews in were removed and most of them have moved to other parts of the city.  Only houses on one side of the “alley” are left and they will soon be demolished.

1885: “In the village of Cabanas de Viriato in the scenic northern province of Beira Alta, Portugal, Jose de Sousa Mendes, a well-to-do high court judge, and Maria Angelina de Abranches gave birth to Aristides de Sousa Mendes the Portuguese diplomat who defied his government and saved thousands from the clutches of Hitler and the Gestapo.

1885: It was reported today that the first excursion for the poor children and their mothers sponsored by the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children has been scheduled for next week.

1885: “Jews of the Northern Caucasus” published today provided an account of Dag Chufut or Mountain Jews who live in several communities “in the provinces of Daghestan, Terek and Kouban.  Numbering about 500 families they claim to be descendants of Persian families who came here in the 15th century because the local princes wished to exploit their commercial skills.  They speak the local dialects but write in Farsi, the language in which their Talmud is written.  Religion is the only thing that they have in common with Jews living in the eastern part of the Russian Empire and they look to their own rabbis for spiritual guidance.

1885: Josef Ahondorowsky, his wife and six children are scheduled to sail back to Russia on board the State of Indiana today.  This Jewish family arrived on July 2 claiming that their passage had been paid for by the Hebrew Aid Society of Paris while admitting that they had no money. 

1887: “Squelching Rabbi Browne” published today described some of the embarrassing antics of Rabbi E.B.M. Browne that included publicly proclaiming himself to be the “Modern Maccabee” and the “Jewish Beecher” and his role in defending convicted wife killer Adolf Reich. He earned further disdain for attempting to play a role in the funeral of the later President Grant.  He insisted that as an Orthodox Jew he would have to walk to the cemetery because the funeral was held on Shabbat.  Apparently he assumed everybody was ignorant of the fact that Jews do not attend funerals on the Sabbath.  The dwindling number of congregants at Gates of Hope was the final blow to his remaining as leader of the congregation.

1888(1st of Av, 5648) Rosh Chodesh Av

1888: It was reported today that a Bet Din consisting of 4 rabbis and led by Rabbi Jacob Charif will meet twice a week to render opinions related to Jewish law. However, Charif, the newly arrived Orthodox Rabbi who was brought to the United States to lead the primarily immigrant community of Jews living on the lower East Side has not made up his mind if he will remain in the United States or return to Vilna.

1889: The Council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations assembled in Detroit today and continued in session for three days. Among the many prominent Jewish leaders attending, none will garner more attention than Rabbi Isaac Meyer Wise, the President of the Hebrew Union College whose recent 70thbirthday was the cause for nationwide celebration among his Reform colleagues and other supporters.

1889: Thanks to “the efforts of the Reformed or Liberal branch of the Jewish teachers: the Central Conference of American rabbis was organized today in Detroit Michigan.

1889: Mr. Robert  Bongynge said today that regardless of what the Board of Trustees of the Harlem Club might do, he was sure that if a could be taken among the general membership could be taken Senator Jacob A. Cantor would be admitted as a member regardless of the fact that he was Jewish

1890: Daniel Froman, the manager of the Lyceum Theatre arrived in New York City today and went immediately to his country home in Stamford, CT.

1890)21st of Tammuz, 5650): Sixty-five year old German Rabbi Immanuel Heinrich Ritter passed away today in Bohemia.

1890: “Arthur Dale Chairman of the Joint Board of Cutters, tailors and contractors received a letter from the United Hebrew Charities signed by James H. Hoffman, Hyman Blum and M.W. Platzek, stating that it was their duty to assist in settling the difficulty, and that they would be pleased to meet Mr. Dale or other gentlemen who represent the interest of the working people that are affected and discuss the situation with the view of arriving at a satisfactory understanding.”

1891: “A Home For The Jews” published today described a meeting “held at Lemberg, the capital of Galicia between Arnold White representing Baron Hirsch, Herr Franzos representing the Jews of Berlin, and Dr. Karunda” representing the Jews of Vienna where the trio agreed that it would be best to direct Jews fleeing Europe to settlements in Argentina especially since no plans can be developed for settling Jews in Palestine.

1891: It was reported today that committees have been formed at..
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July 8

1099: In a move reminiscent of Joshua at Jericho, during the First Crusade 15,000 starving Christian soldiers march in religious procession around Jerusalem as the Muslim defenders look on. This seemingly desperate move is part of the preparations for the final successful Crusader assault that will take place on July 15 following which the Moslem and Jewish citizenry would be slaughtered by those who claim to fight in the name of the man who said “love thine enemies.”

1153: Pope Eugene III passed away. In an effort to gain support for the Second Crusade, Eugene had “issued a bull announcing that all those who joined in the holy war were absolved from the payment of interest on debts owed to Jews.” Regardless of the level of participation, it gave Christians a chance to repudiate the legitimate debts owed to Jews. (As reported by Graetz).

1187: Acre surrendered to Saladin

1230: “Pope Honorius III issued from San Rieti an order directing the Archbishop of Mayence to compel the [Jewish] community to pay the sum of 1,620 marks before the following Easter, threatening it with exclusion from all dealings with Christians if it failed to raise the amount.”

1510: A printed edition of Halikhot Olam, Talmudic dissertations by “Rabbi Jeshua ben Joseph Ha-Levi was published at Constantinople

1497: Today, with a fleet of four ships and a crew of 170 men Vasco da Gama began his first voyage which take him around the Cape of Good Hope to India where in 1498 “while harboring his fleet in Anjediva, a small archipelago of five islands, he was greeted by a Jewish man of about 40 who said he been born in Posen, Poland and had been taken prisoner en route to Jerusalem and sold as a slave in India” and whom da Gama baptized as Gaspar da Gama, the future “pilot of Vasco's fleet in Indian waters” and a linguist for the King of Portugal “on other naval expeditions.

1623: Pope Gregory XV passed away. During his papacy Gregory appointed three expurgators to approve, revise or otherwise deal with Jewish texts.

1654: According to some sources, Jacob Barsimon left Holland aboard the Peartreefor New Amsterdam. He was the first Jewish resident of New Amsterdam (New York). Other sources claim that the Peartree and Barsimon did not set sail until July 17 and did not arrive until August 22, 1654. Regardless of which dating one accepts, the origin of the Jewish Community is dated from September 7, 1653 when 23 Sephardic Jewish refugees from Recife (Brazil) arrived in New Amsterdam aboard the French ship, St. Charles.

1663: Jews were already living in Rhode Island when The British Crown granted a charter the colony founded by Roger Williams, which guarantees freedom of worship. The Jews had arrived in Newport in 1658. Reportedly, these were Sephardic Jews who had fled from Brazil to avoid another round of the Inquisition.

1690(2nd of Av): After having been arrested and forced to ride a horse from which he fell several times, Rabbi Aaron ben Moses Teomim of Worms, author of Mate Aharon died while on his way to prison from a combination of “fright and ill-treatment.”

1709: Peter the Great defeated the Swedish Army led by Charles XII at the Battle of Poltava after which “marano physician and diplomat” Daniel de Fonseco helped the Swedish monarch in his attempts to get the Ottomans to support him in his fight with the Russians and the Poles.

1721:  Elihu Yale passed away. While serving as the English governor of Madras Yale had a romantic relationship with a Portuguese Jewess who was the wife Jacques (Jaime) de Paiva (Pavia), a successful Jewish trader and businessman. The wife, Hermonia de Paiva, went to live with him, causing quite a scandal within Madras' colonial society. Hermonia and the son fathered by Yale both later died in South Africa. [The next time you look at the Hebrew Letters in Yale’s seal, you might remember Hermonia.]

1751: Birthdate of Nathan Wolf Ben Abraham the native of Dessau who was praised for his commentary on the Book of Job but who earned the ire of the Jewish when he produced a book for young Jewish readers that had a preface which included his “complaints again the Jewish nation.”

1755: This evening during the Emden-Eybeschütz Controversy, Jacob Emden’s house was broken into and his papers seized and turned over to the "Ober-Präsident," Von Kwalen. Six months later Von Kwalen appointed a commission of three scholars, who, after a close examination, found nothing, which could inculpate Emden.

1768: Cossack leader Maksym Zaliznyak and 73 rebels were imprisoned in Kyiv-Pechersk Fortress. Zaliznyak had played a key role in the Massacre at Uman where 20,000 Jews and Poles were killed during the Koliivshchyna rebellion. Zaliznyak was not imprisoned because of Russian government cared about the Jews who had been betrayed by their countrymen.  He was imprisoned because the government feared his rebellion would spread and undermine imperial authority.

1775: Four days after he had passed away Judah Leib b Reuben was buried today at the “Hoxton Old Jewish Burial Ground.

1776: The Liberty Bell was rung to summon citizens of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the reading of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress. The Liberty Bell takes its name from the inscription taken from Leviticus 25:10 that states, "Proclaim Liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof."

1792(18thof Tammuz, 5552): Tzom Tammuz observed because the 17th fell on Shabbat

1798: As Napoleon began the campaign against the British that would lead him to Palestine and the making of promising concerning Jewish rights there, he arrived at Demenhour where the army “gained scanty refreshments.”

1805: Simon Mussina, merchant, newspaper editor, and attorney, was born to Zachariah and Nancy Mussina in Philadelphia today,

1805: Rothschild writes the Landgrave seeking the status of “Protected Jew” in Kassel so that he could business there while still living in Frankfurt.  The request was rejected.  The need for such a request was symptomatic of the crazy quilt of regulations designed to limit the business opportunities for Jews.

1807: Rothschild wrote to his son Nathan telling him that that Czar Alexander and Napoleon had met at Tilsit.  He expressed the hope that peace would prevail.  In the end, his hopes proved to be unfounded.

1816: As the Great Powers work to deal with the “rights of Jews” in a post-Napoleonic Europe, Lord Castlereagh, the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs wrote to the Earl of Clancarty saying, “My Lord: As it is probable that the situation of the Jews may become subject of consideration to the Allied Plenipotentiaries at Frankfort, I have received the commands of His Royal Highness the Prince Regent to instruct your Excellency, in that event to encourage the general adoption of a liberal system of toleration with respect to the individuals of the Jewish persuasion throughout Germany, in order that they may not be deprived of those indulgence that lately enjoyed.” (The prince regent refers to the future George IV who had been serving as regent during the final years of the reign of his father George III, of American Revolutionary War fame.  I do not know enough of the nuances of English history to understand his interest in the rights of continental Jews.  Always more to learn.)

1822: Percy Bysshe Shelley, the English poet whose work includes “The Wandering Jews Soliloquy” passed away.


1824: Emanuel Hyams married Rachel Lyon today at the Great Synagouge.

1831: Birthdate of Bohemian author Seligmann Heller whose works included the epic poem "Ahasverus.”

1836:  Birthdate of British statesman Joseph Chamberlain.  Regrettably, Joseph Chamberlain’s greatest claim to fame was the fact that he was the father of Neville Chamberlain, the great appeaser of the Hitler period.  Jews should remember him as a British political leader who was sympathetic to Herzl and his cause.  In 1903, Chamberlain was one of those who worked to offer Uganda as a colony which European Jews could settle.

1838: A band of Druze attacked the Jewish community of Tzfat. This incident is a far cry from the relations today between the Druze and the Jews.  Founded in the early 11th century, the Druze faith was initially based on the doctrines of Shi’a Islam. As with other such groups who deviated from Islam, the Druze have been at odds with the dominant Moslem populations in the countries where they live – Lebanon, Syria and Jordan. There is a Druze community in Israel and Druze soldiers have served with honor and distinction in the IDF

1839: Birthdate of John D. Rockefeller whom the world connects with petroleum, Standard Oil and monopoly.  For Jews he was one of those who signed the Blackstone Memorial, a petition favoring “the delivery of Palestine to Jews” that was presented to President Benjamin Harrison.

1846: Henry Woolf married Sarah Jane Asher at the Great Synagogue today.

1847(24th of Tammuz, 5607): Rachel Lindo, the widow of the late David Lindo, and the oldest member of the local congregation passed away at the age of 85 in Bridgetown, Barbados.

1849: Formal installation of Toechter Lodge No. 1 of the Free Sons of Israel.  This lodge was unique because it was made up of women, as can be imagined by the name which is the Yiddish word for daughter.

1850: Birthdate of Frederick de Sola Mendes the native of Montego Bay, Jamaica, West Indies who gained fame as a rabbi, author, and editor. The son of Abraham Pereira Mendes, he was educated at Northwick College and at University College School, London, and at the University of London where he earned a B.A. in 1869. “Subsequently he went to Breslau, Germany, where he entered the university and studied rabbinics at the Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau. Mendes received the degree of Ph.D. from Jena University in 1871. Returning to England, he was licensed to preach as rabbi by Haham Benjamin Artom, in London, 1873; in the same year he was appointed preacher of the Great St. Helen's Synagogue of that city, but in December removed to New York, where he had accepted a call to the rabbinate of Shaaray Tefillah congregation (now the West End Synagogue); he entered upon his duties there January 1, 1874. Mendes was one of the founders of the American Hebrew. In 1888 he took part in the Field-Ingersoll controversy, writing for the North American Review an article entitled "In Defense of Jehovah." In 1900 Mendes joined the staff of the Jewish Encyclopedia as revising editor and chief of the translation bureau, which positions he resigned in September 1902. Associated with Dr. Marcus Jastrow and Dr. Kaufmann Kohler, he was one of the revisers of the Jewish Publication Society of America Version of the Bible. He also translated Jewish Family Papers: Letters of a Missionary, by "Gustav Meinhardt" (Dr. William Herzberg). Of his publications the following may be mentioned: Child's First Bible; Outlines of Bible History; Defense not Defiance. He contributed also the article on the "Jews" to Johnson's Encyclopedia. In 1903 he became for a time editor of The Menorah, a monthly magazine. In conjunction with his brother Henry Pereira Mendes, and others, he was one of the founders of The American Hebrew (1879), to whose columns, as to those of the general press, he was a frequent contributor. He passed away in 1927.

1852(21stof Tammuz, 5612): Moses Benedict the German banker and artist who was born at Stuttgart  in 1772 and who operated the banking business of Benedict Brothers with his brother Seligman passed away today.

1853: Commodore Mathew Perry reached the entrance of Tokyo Bay, one of the climactic moments in his move to “Open Japan to the West” which was the inspiration for the Stephen Sondheim musical “Pacific Overtures” about “the westernization of Japan.”

1868: Birthdate of American journalist Thomas Franklin Fairfax Millard, the founder of the China Press, an English language paper that supported the new government of Dr. Sun Yat-sen which he sold to Edward Ezra, a leading Jewish businessman in China in 1918.

1870: In Dublin, Professor Alexander Macalister and his wife gave birth to Robert Alexander Steward Alexander, the only professional archaeologist at the excavation of Gezer which last from 1902 to 1902 and is best known for the “Gezer calendar.”

1870: Birthdate of Mark Peyser, the native of Washington, DC who practiced medicine in Richmond while serving on the faculty of the Medical College of Virginia before passing away in 1938.

1871: Isaac Hyman who used to be a City of Marshal in New York City was ordered to pay seven dollars a week in support payments after he had been arrested today on charges of abandoning his wife. 

1872: Birthdate of Aaron Gumbinsky who gained fame as the songwriter Harry Von Tilzer whose tunes included "A Bird in a Gilded Cage", "Cubanola Glide", "Wait 'Til The Sun Shines Nellie", "Old King Tut", "All Alone", "Mariutch", "I Love My Wife, But Oh You Kid!", "They Always Pick On Me", "I Want A Girl Just Like The Girl Who Married Dear Old Dad", And The Green Grass Grew All Around and many others.

1873: Union of American Hebrew Congregations (Reform) was launched in Cincinnati under the leadership of Dr. Isaac Meyer Wise.

1876: The “Academy” published “a criticism” of “The Courses of Religious Thought” published in the June edition of the “Contemporary Review” in which William Gladstone found “fault with the Jews for giving p the belief in a personal Messiah.

 1877: In Warsaw, Feliks Rappaport and Justyna Bauerertz gave birth to Emil Stanisław Rappaport the Jewish lawyer who served as Judge in post-WW I Poland and was the author of several works on international law.

1877: Delegates representing American Hebrew congregations from the principal cities in the United States are scheduled to hold the opening session of their convention at Concordia Hall in Milwaukee.  Approximately 150 delegates are expected to attend.  The primary aims of the meeting are to consolidate all of the Reform congregations under one central body that will, among other things, create a uniform service to be followed by all members.  “The convention will also discuss the feasibility of securing lands in the West and South” for Jews who have not been able to “establish their own homes and businesses.

1877: “Prejudices,” a reprint of an article from Macmillan’s Magazine, published today reported that “The past generation of Englishmen has been so generous to Jews that” it would be “ungrateful” to accuse present day Englishmen “of being consciously repelled by the idea of a poor Jew being worthy of admiration.  But 15 centuries of hatred” are not easily “wiped out” by the passage of legislation. “A deep unconscious undercurrent of prejudice against the Jew” still exists among Englishmen.  This “unconscious Judaeophobia” exists alongside “a tacit of assumption that modern Judaism is a lifeless code of ritual instead of a living body of religious truth.”

1877: According to a paper that Mr. E.G. Ravenstein presented to the Statistical Society of London, the population of Russia has been increasing at the rate of 1.1 per cent per year with “the Jews being the most prolific” group in the Czar’s Empire.

1877: It was reported today that for several years the “American Hebrews” in New York “have united to furnish poor Christian children in Industrial Schools with warm and nourishing food.” 

1877: According to reports published today Judge Hilton’s decision to ban Joseph Seligman (and all Jews) from his hotel in Saratoga Springs, NY has caused quite a stir among Jews and Gentiles in San Francisco, CA.  The Seligmans are quite well known to Californians and are well thought.  A ban like the one adopted in Saratoga Springs would not find any support on the west coast since the Jews are viewed as being patriotic citizens who are always ready to “extend their aid and assistance” whenever it is needed.  The Jews are viewed as being “valuable and…respectable” members of the community, “good neighbors and …businessmen” whom the “hotels are very glad to have” as customers.

1878: William Evarts, the U.S. Secretary of State in the administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes, has complied with a request made by M.S.  Isaacs of New York, President of the Board of Delegates of the American Israelites and Simon Wolf of Washington, DC, the Vice President of the Board of Delegates of the American Israelites.  He “has instructed” the U.S. “Consul at Tangiers, Morocco to co-operate with the representatives of other governments in using his good offices” on “behalf of the oppressed Israelites in the Empire of Morocco.  The instructions are similar to those given several years to…the Consul at Bucharest which proved so beneficial for the relief and protection of the Jews” in Romania who were being persecuted at that time.

1879: Moritz Loth of Cincinnati presided over the opening session of The Sixth Council of the Union of American and Hebrew Congregations at Standard Hall in New York City. Rabbi Gustav Gottheil of Temple Emanu-El offered the opening prayer followed by Moritz Ellinger’s opening address. 

1879(17th of Tammuz, 5639): Tzom Tammuz

1880: An untitled article published today credited the Jews with developing the first principles of what we now call the insurance industry.  The Babylonian Talmud contained a systemized code that articulates “the principle of sharing among a number the loss of a single individual. 

1882: Birthdate of Austrian native Harry “Baum a volunteer settlement worker on the Lower East Side who became one of basketball's greatest coaches during the early decades of the 20th Century and is considered the father of fundamental basketball tactics”

1882: “A New Socialistic Society” published today provided an insight into the divisions within Jewish socialists when it reported that among the officers elected were a Corresponding Secretary in German and a Corresponding Secretary in Russian.  Added to the mix was the fact that the first speaker of the evening whose topic concerned the future of the Jewish race was named Allen McGregor.

1883: It was reported today that the outbreak of Cholera in Egypt is so serious that the British are considering transferring their troops from the land of Nile to Malta or Cyprus.  If the plague reaches Cairo the Jewish population will find itself at great risk since most of it is confined to a quarter that consists of narrow streets without drainage or proper sanitation of any kind.

1883: “Notes from Cincinnati” published today described “an important (upcoming) event…the ordination of four young Rabbis from the graduating class of the Hebrew Union College.” They are part of the school’s first graduating class.

1883: It was reported today that Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler opened the exams given to the rabbinical students at HUC by declaring that “Cincinnati had become the center and heart of American Judaism” a fact “he attributed to the great and energetic mind of” Rabbi Isaac Meyer Wise.

1885 Birthdate of Paul Josef Levi, the native of Stuttgart who as Paul Leni began working as a theatrical set designer in pre-war Germany before become a filmmaker during the Weimar Republic.

1885: It was reported today that after the latest conscription deadline had passed nearly 16,000 Jewish draftees had failed to report for military service. This meant that the Jews had missed their quota by more than 50% of the mandated total.  Jews were not the only ones who avoided serving in a military that was meant to brutalize them and in which there was no opportunity to enter the officer corps.  Bashkirs, Tartars and Mennonites were among other groups who sought to avoid service in the Czars army using such tricks as injuring their fingers and lessening the measurement of their chest since a conscript is rejected if his chest does not measure at least half the length of his stature.

1885: Birthdate of Ernst Bloch, a German Marxist who fled Germany during the 1930’s. When he returned he went to live in East (Communist) Germany. He broke with Communists and defected to West Germany in 1960. Bloch had opposed Herzl and Zionism in the 1960’s he became an outspoken advocate of Israel’s right to exist. He passed away in 1977.

1886: Birthdate of Chicago native Edward G. Felsenthal, the attorney and real estate executive who earned his undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Chicago.

1887: One day after he had passed away, 54 year old Louis Kyezor, the husband of Julia Joseph was buried today at the Balls Pond Road Cemetery.

1888: In New York City, Abraham Fabricant and his wife gave birth to Louis Fabricant, the NYU Law School Graduate, “a former partner in the law firm of Rosenberg, Goldmark and Colin and former assistant district attorney whose passion for providing legal assistance for those who could not afford it led him to become “the attorney-in-chief of the Legal Aid Society of New York.”

1888: In Los Angeles, CA, Chicago native Jacob S. Saleky “who became the treasurer of the Irwin Garment Company of St. Louis” and his wife gave birth to J. Sydney Salkey, who, after earning a B.A. from the University of Chicago and an LL.B from Washington University School of Law pursued a career in corporate law with a specialization “in federal taxation”

1888: The Executive Board of the Union of Hebrew Congregations held its annual meeting today in Cleveland Ohio simultaneously with the annual meetings of the Board of Trustees and Managers of the Jewish Orphan Asylum and the Montefiore Home for Aged and Infirm Israelites. Eight Governors of Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati were elected by the board including Solomon Simon of New York City.

1888: An “informal reception” was held to honor Rabbi Jacob Charif (Sharp) at his home at 179 Henry Street.  Charif has been to New York from Wilna to serve as the leader for the Orthodox synagogues on the Lower East Side

1889: “Hebrew in Convention” published today described plans for the upcoming meeting of the Council of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations which will be held in Detroit, Michigan.  The council is made up of lay and rabbinical delegates representing organizations with an aggregate membership of almost 600,000 members.

1890(20th of Tammuz, 5650): Fifty two year old Ludwig Chronegk, the stage-manager and "Intendanzrath" of the famous Meininger troupe established at Weimar by Duke George of Meiningen” passed away today at Meiningen.

1890: Birthdate of Vilna native Leon Pines who came to the United States in 1908 where he became a successful businessman active in Jewish causes including the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies before passing away at Miami Beach in 1969.

1891: It was reported today that “nine hundred Jews left Lithuania (Russian Poland) last after refusing…to embrace” the Russian Orthodox religion “as ordered.”

1891: It was officially announced today that the Porte (the government of the Ottoman Empire) will only allow Jews to enter Jerusalem as pilgrims and will not allow them to emigrate there as settlers.

1892: Birthdate of Wilmington, Delaware native Samuel Isaiah Sacks the WW I veteran and graduate of Temple Law School who also pursued a career in engineering who was elected “as an Associate Member” of the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1918 and who, in 1918, was a candidate for membership of the Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia

1893: Only 120 of the 800 steerage passengers..
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July 7

1274: Pope Gregory X confirmed a bull issued in 1272 banning charges of blood ritual.

1307: King Edward I, the monarch who expelled the Jews from England, died.

1320: In Pastoureaux (Southern France), an unnamed shepherd started a crusade against the Jews. It spread throughout most of southern France and northern Spain destroying one hundred and twenty communities. At Verdun, 500 Jews defended themselves from within a stone tower. When they were about to be overrun they killed themselves.

1358: Hundreds of Jews were murdered in Catalonia

1520: Cortes defeats a force of Aztecs who had chased him out of Mexico City.  It would be more than a year before Cortes would be able to conquer the capital city.  Among those with Cortes was a converso or crypto-Jew named Hernando Alonso who worked as a blacksmith.

1572: King Sigismund II Augustus, one of the monarchs who invited Jews to settle in Poland, passed away.

1629(17thof Tammuz, 5389): Yom Tov Lipmann Heller was imprisoned at Vienna today.

1690(1st of Av): Rabbi Hillel ben Naphta Zevi of Altona, author Bet Hillel, novella on the code passed away

1733: Forty-one Jews settled in the colony of Georgia. Among them were Spanish, Portuguese, German and English Jews.

1743(23rdof Tammuz): Chaim ben Moses ibn Attar also known as the Ohr ha-Chaim after his popular commentary on the Pentateuch. Born at Meknes, Morocco in 1696, he became a leading rabbi in his native land before leaving for Eretz Israel in 1733. He finally arrived in Jerusalem in 1742 “where he presided at the Beit Midrash Knesset Yisrael.”  He is buried on the Mount of Olives where his gravestone may still be seen.

1753:  The Jewish Naturalization Act of 1753 received royal assent today. It would be repealed a year later.  Jews would not become full citizens with the right to sit in Parliament until the middle of the 19th century.

1754: At Geislautern, Germany, Abraham Aberle and his wife gave birth to Aaron Worms, chief rabbi of Metz

1773: Birthdate of Isaac Ben Hrisch Katzenelnbogen, the native of Deutschland who was the husband of Fanny Neuburg.

1781(14thof Tammuz, 5541): Parashat Balak

1781(14thof Tammuz, 5541): Moses Joseph Schiff, the son Joseph Schiff and Brendle Rheinganum and husband of Gutchen Scheyer passed away today.

1795: Isaac Nathan Lear married Ann Magnus at the Great Synagogue.

1815: Joseph Oppenheim, the son of Kitty Joseph and Michael Oppenheim was buried today in the United Kingdom.

1816: Emanuel Nunes Carvalho, the rabbi at Philadelphia’s Congregation Mikveh Israel delivered a sermon on the “Occasion of the Death of Rabbi Gershom Mendes Seixas.” This “was the first Jewish sermon printed in the United States.” A native of London Carvalho had served as rabbi in Bridgetown, Barbados and Charleston, SC, before coming to Philadelphia where he would die in 1817.

1822(18thof Tammuz, 5582): Tzom Tammuz observed since the 17th of Tammuz fell on Shabbat.

1831: In Merzig, Germany, Esther and Baruch Loew Rothschild gave birth to Columbus, GA resident Nathan Baruch Rothschild, the husband of Sophie Rothschild and the brother of Leopold Rothschild.

1836: Joseph II of Galicia, in an alleged effort to improve the educational status of Rabbis, decreed that no Rabbis be appointed if they did not attend a University. Little came of his decree.

1840: Orientalist Louis Loewe, who traveled with Sir Moses Montefiore and served as his interpreter today wrote “I am about to start for Damascus accompanying Sir Moses and Lady Montefiore on this holy miss mission to that place” which was the first sentence in the first entry of the diary that he kept while accompanying a party if leading Jews to Damascus where they hoped to refute the allegations that Jews had ritually murdered Capuchin Monk Father Thomas.

1851: Louis Lucas, the husband of London native Frances Cohen with whom he had nine children was buried today at the Brady Street Jewish Cemetery.

1853: In a letter dated today addressed to the Emperor of Japan Commodore Mathew Perry uses the phrase “pacific overtures” which will provide the title for the Stephen Sondheim musical about the “opening of Japan.”

1855: In Syracuse, NY, Abraham Stern and his wife gave birth to Samuel Stern an attorney who married Libbia Wile who served as the first assistant district attorney of Onondaga County, NY before moving to Spokane, Washington.

1857: Pinckney A. Hyams and Pauline Baum were married today in Charleston, SC.

1858: In Great Britain, Nahum Salamon and his wife gave birth to Alfred Gordon Salamon, a specialist “in the Chemistry of Fermentation” who was a “member of the Commission to Enquire in the Cause of Beer Poisoning in Manchester” and who “was instrumental along with his father in introducing ‘Saccharin” into the United Kingdom.

1859: Jacob Isaac Abrahams married Nancy Bosman at the Great Synagogue today.

1860: In the Kaliště, Pelhřimov District, Vysočina Region,Bernhard Baruch Mahler and Marie Mahler gave birth to composer Gustav Mahler who converted to Catholicism to further his career, a move that earned him derision from his critics and no relief from the anti-Semites. Mahler passed away in 1911.

1860:  Birthdate of Abraham Cahan. From 1903 until his death in 1951, Cahan was the editor of the "Jewish Daily Forward", the most popular and most enduring of all Yiddish newspapers.

1861: In Dublin, Liverpool native David Jacobs and his gave birth to their youngest son, Julius Jacobs, the husband of Hannah Hands of Maida-vale, London whom married in 1882 and member of the Liverpool City Council from 1902 to 1904 who “retired from political work in 1904” because of the terms of his father will and devoted himself to communal work including serving as the President of the Liverpool Hebrew Philanthropic Society.

1862: John Wood, Drummer, of Company A, Thirty-sixth Regiment N.Y.V., died in the Jews' Hospital.  The Jew’s Hospital (later known as Mt. Sinai) had been built in the 1850’s to meet the health needs of New York’s burgeoning Jewish population.  Its role changed during the Civil War as it became a major health care facility for treating the sick and wounded of the Union Army.

1862: Birthdate of German playwright Ludwig Fulda whose works included Der Talisman (1892), Jugendfreunde (1897) and Maskerade (1904) who committed suicide in 1939 when he was denied entrance to the United States.

1865: A day after he passed away, eighteen year old Michael Alex Aria, “the son of Alexander and Judith Aria was buried today at the Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.

1866: Birthdate of Chicago businessman and Democrat Party member Emanuel M. Abrahams who “served in the Illinois House of Representative from 1907 to 1911” before being elected to the Chicago City Council.

1868: Three days after she passed away, Frances Bright was buried today at the Lauriston Road Jewish Cemetery.

1871: Daniel Joseph, the father of Sir Otto Jaffe established the Belfast Hebrew Congregation “which worshipped at the Great Victoria Street synagogue.

1872: In Philadelphia, “Fannie (née Ephraim) and Levi Mastbaum” gave birth to Jules Ephraim Mastbaum, whose Stanley Company of American “became the largest movie theatre chain in the world in 1926” and who was the husband of “Etta Wedell Mastbaum, the daughter of Rachel P. Lit who founded the original store that became Lit Brothers” and the brother-in-law of two sons of “Adam Gimbel, the founder of Gimbels department store.”

1873: Baruch Fränkel and Rosa Eibenschütz gave birth to Sándor Fränkel who gained fame as the Hungarian psychoanalyst and associate of Sigmund Freud, Sándor Ferenczi

1874: In Vienna, Bustav and Charlotte Prizbram gave birth biologist Hans Leo Prizbram, the grandson of Austrian banker Friedrich Schey von Koromla and founder of “the biological laboratory in Vienna” who died in Theresienstadt at the age of 70.

1876: Sixty-five year old Louis Goodman was buried today at the Balls Pond Road Jewish Cemetery.

1879: The Executive Board of the Council of the Union of American and Hebrew Congregations met this morning with Moritz Loth presiding and Lipman Levy acting as secretary.  The board met to prepare for the upcoming meeting of the Council which was scheduled to begin on the following day.

1881: In Kentucky, Governor Blackburn has declared today to be a day of public fasting and prayer where all business is suspended so that citizens can go to churches “or other places of worship”  to pray for the recovery of President Garfield who has been shot by an assassin. [For Jews, the importance of this is that the governor has acknowledged that there are other houses of worship than those used by Christians.]

1881: In Częstochowa, Poland, Dora Paternack and Sigmund Pasternack, a bandmaster gave birth to their eldest son Josef Alexander Pasternack who was the conductor of several prominent American symphony orchestras including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Philharmonic Society where he broke musical and social grounds when he had Marian Anderson perform there.

1882: As the Freight Handler’s strike in New York continues cargo fails to leave the port despite the availability of large numbers of foreign born workers including Russian Jews to work the docks.  According to critics, they lack the skill and knowledge to work effectively.  As the strikers become more desperate, incidence of violence increase as can be seen by the stone-throwing attack on Jews at the 30th Street Yards.

1882: The current labor strife between the freight handlers and the railroad companies is described as battle between Teutonic and Celtic Races on the one hand and Russian-Semitic and Latin volunteers on the other hand.  In a tactic that would become quite common during labor disputes, the owners and their supporters would try and pit worker against worker; in this case Germans and Irish against Russian Jews and Italians.

1882: It was reported today that in Russia, Count Tolstoi, the Minister of the Interior has ordered the authorities at the frontier “to do all this is possible to facilitate the return of the Jews.” 

1882: The newly formed Propaganda Verein, most of whose members were Jewish, met tonight at the Golden Rule Hall on Rivington Street.  The evening’s theme was “The Jewish Question” – the future of the Jewish race and the anomaly of the persecution of Jews.

1883(2ndof Tammuz, 5643): Forty-six year old Joseph Reckendorfer who was a supporter of the United Hebrew Charities and the Hebrew Orphan Asylum as well as a member of Temple Emanu-El passed away today.

1883: “The Alleged Passover Murder” published today described recent event in the trial of Jews accused of ritual murder of a Christian girl, Esther Salomossy, at Nyreghaza, Hungary.  Two of the accused claimed that their confessions had been obtained by force and coercion.  The defense counsel told the court that the people of Tisza-Eglar, where the alleged murder had taken place have “been taught that it was not wrong to testify falsely against the Jews” if the interests of the country required a conviction.

1884: In Boston, Isaac Jacobs, a Polish Jew who is the prime suspect in the murder of Etta G. Carleston, is expected to make his next court appearance on charges of having stolen a watch a chain.

1884(14thof Tammuz, 5644): Eleven year old Harold Phillips passed away today after which he was buried in the Hebrew Cemetery in Natchitoches, LA.

1884: “Case of Pauper Immigrants” published today, described evidence gathered by the Emigration Commissioner that the clerks at Castle Garden were not be vigilant in seeing to it that immigrants who lacked funds or financial sponsors were kept from entering the country.  Among those metntioned were Henry Brolsky, his wife and six children had arrived aboard the SS Assyrian Monarch.  According to Brolsky, the Hebrew Society of London had paid for their passage.  He said he had family in St. Louis, but had no funds to make the trip. Another example was an un-named family from Poland who had arrived on the SS Australia.  Their passage had been paid for by the Hebrew Society of London. The immigrants claimed they had been told that the Commissioners of Emigration would provide them with funds once they had arrived. [The report cited examples of non-Jews as well.  The issue of “pauper immigrants” would bedevil the immigration debate among Jews as well as the general society until World War I staunched the human flood tide.]

1884: In Munich, “Orthodox Jewish margarine manufacturer Sigmund Feuchtwanger and his wife, Johanna née Bodenheim” gave birth to Lion Feuchtwanger, German -born dramatist and narrator who escaped to the United States at the outbreak of World War II. 


1884: A review of the Universal History: The Oldest Historical Group of Nations and the Greeks by Leopold von Ranke includes the famous German historian that the laws of Moses stand in stark contrast to the Egyptians because they involve “an opposition to kingship and claim to be an emanation from the deity.”  Furthermore they represent the first attack on “a national nature worship” and provide the grounds for the creation of monotheism, a principle on which “is built a civil society which is alien to every abuse of power.”

1887: Mrs. Betty Michaelis refused to attend today’s meeting of a committee that had been appointed by Mrs. Henrietta Loeser, the President of the Henrietta Verien to determine if she should be expelled from the society.

1887: The trustees of Gates of Hope suspended Rabbi E.B.M. Browne from his position as leader of the congregation after a special committee of investigation found that guilty of charges of “conduct unbecoming a minister.”

1887: Twenty-six year old Prince Ferdinand of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, who was serving as “an officer in the officer…was elected ruler of Bulgaria” today. In moves that marked him as unique among European nobility Ferdinand boasted about his relationship with Baron Hirsch saying “I was really brought by Jews; I spent my life with Baron Hirsch.  I am half a Jew, as people often reproach me” and expressed support for Herzl by saying that his plan to create a Jewish homeland “is a grandiose idea” that “has my full sympathy.

1887: J.E. Phillips presided over tonight’s meeting at the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue where the Jewish citizens discussed plans for a possible celebration of the 400th anniversary of the expulsion from Spain and Columbus’ first voyage to the New World.

1887: In Lizona, which was then part of the Russian Empire, Chezkel Zachar Mordechai Chagall (Shagal) and Feige-Ite Chagall gave birth to Moishe Zakharovich Shagalov (Moishe Segal) who gained fame as Marc Chagall whose life lasted almost one hundred years. He developed his art against a backdrop of World War I, the Russian Revolution and its Stalinist aftermath, Paris during the thirties, the Holocaust and the birth of the state of Israel. One can only appreciate Chagall by seeing Chagall. There are numerous websites where his art may be viewed. The “Praying Jew” is my personal favorite. http://www.wikipaintings.org/en/marc-chagall/the-praying-jew-rabbi-of-vitebsk-1914


1888: Rabbi Jacob Charif (Jacob Sharp) arrived early this morning at Hoboken aboard the North German Lloyd steamer. Chariff, from Wilna Russia, has been brought to the United states by the United Society to serve the needs of New York’s “orthodox down-town Jews.” Charif refused to leave the boat or meet with the welcoming committee until Saturday evening, after the end of Shabbat.

1888: “On Shabbos Maatos-Maasei, the trans-Atlantic ship Allaire docked at Hoboken, on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River. After Havdalah, at approximately 10 p.m., the chief rabbi was taken to a nearby hotel. The leaders of the appointing congregations and more than 100,000 people crowded the streets for an opportunity to catch a glimpse of him. Hoboken had never before seen such a large crowd.” (Jewish Press)

1888:”The Summer Corps At Work” published today described the work of fifty physicians appointed by the city to provide medical care for those living in the most crowded quarters in the city. Dr. C.W. Wolfretz, who has been assigned to cover “a district from Division to Broom Street and Bowery to Eldridge where the overcrowded tenements are primarily occupied by Polish and Hungarian Jews, has discovered that the people sleep on the roof to get relief from the heat and that the children are susceptible to measles.

1889: It was reported today that some social scientists, many of whom live in Germany, are impatiently awaiting the establishment of Jewish state in Palestine as a way of proving their theories about governance and nationalism. Since there are those who contend that the recent success of Jews has taken place in a Christian society and that Jews would not be nearly as successful living in a society where they were both the governed and the governor.

1889(8th of Tammuz, 5649): Sixty seven year old Rabbi Elias Karpeles passed away in Vienna.

1889: “Darmesteter, The Linguist” published today notes that “scant notice has been given in the United States to” the passing of Arsene Darmesteter  the Jewish Sorbonne lecturer on Mediaeval French and literature” whose death means that “the world has lost one who was a Columbus in the vast eternal seas of philological discovery.

1890: In Roundout, a case of assault and battery involving Polish Jews was withdrawn from the Recorders Court after the parties agreed to pay court costs

1891: The weekly cruise for underprivileged children sponsored by the Sanitarium for Hebrew Children is scheduled to take place today

1892: The business session of the third annual Central Conference of American Rabbis is scheduled to open at ten o’clock this morning. Reports will be present on conversion and cremation of the dead.

1892: Birthdate of Chicago native Philip Sachs, the graduate of Kent College of Law who combined the practice of law with being a leader in the Jewish community as can be seen by his membership of the Young Men’s Jewish Charities and B’nai B’rith.

1892: Rabbi Kaufmann Kohler is scheduled to read a paper entitled “Is Reformed Judaism Destructive or Constructive?” at the evening session of the Conference of American Rabbis.

1893: “Coaxing Immigration published today described the efforts of the Canadian government to recruit people from the western United States to settle in the Northwest Territories and Prairie Provinces. Including Russian Jews from Chicago some of whom the government of Calgary feels are unfit because they “know nothing about agriculture.”

1894: Barbara Elisabeth Gluck who wrote her poetry under the name of Betty Paoli was buried today at Vienna’s Central Cemetery.

1894: Seventy one year old Christian Friedrich August Dillmann a German born orientalist and Biblical scholar who wrote commentaries on Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy and Joshua as well as “a dissertation on the origin of the Hexateuch” passed away today.

1895: It was reported today that Lord Rosebury has raised Sydney Stern to the Peerage after the “well known Jewish financier contributed £50,000 to the Liberal Party.” According to the Jewish Chronicle Stern has spent a great deal of money on his political ambitions and little on the poor. “This is in striking to contrast of many other millionaires of his faith” like the Rothschilds, Montefiores and Goldsmids “whom the Queen has honored for their many acts of charity.

1895: It was reported today that theatre goers in London have no interest in seeing Samuel B. Curtis’s “Sam’l of Posen.”  They do not have “the faintest interest in the Polish Jews or would dream of trying to understand his Yiddish Jargon.”

1895(15thof Tammuz, 5655): Twenty year old Alma Meyer passed away today in Newark, NJ.

1895: “Heine and the Germans” published today described the controversy between the Heine Memorial Committee and the Park Commissioners in New York City over the erection of a monument to the German author as well as the opposition of some German-Americans  who view him as “a Napoleon worshipper, a purchased scribe of Louis Philippe  and a bitter-hearted and revengeful Jew.”

1898(17thof Tammuz, 5658): Tzom Tammuz

1898: In Chicago, Rose (Rabinoff) and Isidore Horwitz or Horowitz gave birth to their second son Ralph who as Ralph Horween played and coached football at Harvard  and played and coach for the Chicago Cardinals in the NFL.

1899: Benjamin Kossman began serving as a Quarter-Master Sergeant today.

1899: “The Straus Milk Depots Open” published today listed the three locations where “modified milk for sick children and pure pasteurized milk in bottles can be had at all times.”  Thanks to the generosity of Nathan Straus a half-pint of milk can be purchased for one cent.  A new formula perfected by Doctor R.G. Freeman at the Nathan Straus Pasteurized Milk Laboratory is especially useful for “very young babies who are ill.”

1899: “On the Lower East Side of Manhattan, “Hungarian-Jewish immigrants Viktor Cukor, an assistant district attorney, and Helén Ilona Gross gave birth to George Dewey Cukor, the movie director whose parents chose the middle name of Dewey as a way to honor Naval Hero Admiral George Dewey and whose long and distinguished career ncluded two Catherine Hepburn – Spencer Tracy classics. But he may be most famous for the movie that he did not direct. Cukor was the first director for "Gone With the Wind" but he was fired before he could complete the project. He passed away in 1983

1900: Constantin C. Arion, who as the Rumanian Minister of Foreign Affairs would say that his “Government would grant rights to the Jews in accordance with the peace treat” and that the Government “would completely abolish Article 7 of the Rumanian Constitution” which states that “Jews in Rumania are aliens and that naturalization is only possible for them individually” began serving as Minister of Religion and Public Instruction today.. (Editor’s Note – Going back to the Congress of Berlin, Rumanian government were always promising to emancipate the Jews living in the country and always failing to do so.)

1901: The Summer Assembly of the Jewish Chautauqua Society began today.

1901:  Birthdate of producer Sam Katzman.  Katzman’s work includes a series of Superman serials and early Elvis Presley films.

1901: The New York Times reports on the popularity of Montefiore Isaacs, the Union Club Member who is a nephew .of Sir Moses Montefiore.  The popular bachelor is known for his skill as magician which he freely shares for charitable events as well as his knowledge of Shakespeare.

1902: Herzl appears before the Royal Commission.

1903: The funeral of Albert F Hochstadter, prominent businessman and a Trustee of Temple Emanu-El is scheduled to take place today at this famous New York Jewish house of worship.

1904: Theodor Herzl is..
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