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Jewish population and position declined.

1880 - 1943 MAX WERTHHEIMER (Germany-USA)

Founder of Gestalt Psychology. Using what he called the Phi phenomenon he believed that the brain "organizes static sensations into an overall apparent movement" (similar to motion pictures). Werthheimer fled Germany in the 1930's and joined the New School for Social Research in New York.

1880 RUSSIA - ORT (Russian initials for Obstchestuo Resemes lenovo Truda)

The Society for the Encouragement of Handicraft was established by Baron Horace de Guenzburg. Its goal was to organize vocational programs for poor Jews throughout the world.

1880 - 1959 ERNEST BLOCH (Switzerland-USA)

Although Bloch was not formally traditional, his music is suffused with Jewish themes. In Bloch's words: "This it is which I seek to feel within me and to translate in my music - the sacred race - emotion that lies dormant in our souls." His well-known works include the Shelemo, Baal Shem, America (an epic rhapsody) Symphony in C Sharp Minor and Avodat HaKodesh (Sacred Service for the Sabbath).

1880 - 1920 JOSEPH TRUMPELDOR (Odessa,Ukraine-Eretz Israel)

First Jewish commissioned officer in the Czarist army. He lost his arm while fighting at Port Arthur in the Russo-Japanese War and became the highest decorated Jewish soldier in Russia. Trumpeldor emigrated to Eretz Israel in 1911 where he met Vladimir Jabotinsky. Together they formed the Zion Mule Corps (the Jewish Legion) in 1917 to fight with the British. He returned to Riga, and with the support of Kerensky, tried to form a Jewish army to fight its way through the Balkans to Eretz Israel. He died while defending Tel Hai, a settlement near the Lebanese border.

1880 - 1961 MANIA (Wilbushewitcz) SHOCHAT (Russia -Israel)

Revolutionary and pioneer. Shochat began her revolutionary activities in Russia and set up a Jewish Workers' Party which had the backing of the czar. After its dissolution in 1903, she joined her brother in Eretz Israel. Mania was instrumental along with her husband, Israel Shochat, in the founding of HaShomer, the Jewish self-defense organization (1909). They settled in Sejera (Ilaniyah), which became the first collective settlement. In her later years she was active as a social worker in helping new immigrants.

1880 - 1957 SHOLOM ASCH (Poland-Israel)

Renowned Hebrew and Yiddish novelist. Most of his books, including Motke Ganef (Motke the Thief), reflect social realism rather than romanticism.

1880 THEODOR MOMMSEN (1817-1903) (Germany)

Signed a declaration of German notables against anti-Semitism. A German scholar and historian, Mommsen was one of the few German Christian intellectuals to speak out against the new wave of anti-Semitism.

1880 October 5, - 1939 VLADIMIR JABOTINSKY (Odessa,Ukraine-Eretz Israel)

Founder of the New Zionist Organization (1935), the Haganah (1920), the Jewish Legion (1917), Betar (Brit Trumpeldor) (1923), Revisionist Party (1925), and the Irgun (1937). Until he joined the World Zionist Organization, Jabotinsky was considered by Tolstoy and Pushkin to be one of Russia's most promising writers. He was soon recognized as a distinguished statesman, linguist (he wrote in over seven languages, translating Poe and Dante into Hebrew) and orator par excellence. In 1935 he split with the World Zionist Organization, accusing them of procrastinating and developing defeatist policies. He believed in 90% immigration and 10% politics, as well as the use of Hebrew only as a state language (the Establishment considered him unrealistic). In the 1930's he organized an aviation and navy school in Europe, while at the same time calling for the complete evacuation of Eastern Europe. One of the last of the hundreds of pamphlets he wrote was entitled The Eleventh Hour (1939) and it called for the immediate resettlement of 600,000 Polish Jews. He was branded an alarmist. He died of a heart attack while visiting Camp Betar in Hunter, New York.

1881 - 1897 ALGERIA

There were anti-Jewish riots throughout most of the country after Jews were granted citizenship.


Arrived in the United States, mostly from Eastern Europe.

1881 - 1914 RUSSIA

Mass emigration. Each year more then 50,000 Jews left Russia. By the beginning of World War I 2,500,000 Russian Jews had left. Some years the numbers reached well over 100,000.

1881 - 1900 USA

600,000 Jews entered from Russian and Romania.

1881 YEMEN

The first mass emigration to Eretz Israel began.

1881 - 1917 BER BOROCHOV (Ukraine)

Developed the Poale Zion (Zionist Labor Party). Its ideology was a synthesis between Jewish Nationalism and Marxism. He is best summed up in his own words: "Our ultimate aim is Socialism. Our immediate aim is Zionism. The class struggle is the means to achieve both aims."


German economist and philosopher, published Die Judenfrage (The Jewish question). Duehring (1833–1921) was one of the initial proponents of modern racial antisemitism, based on anthropology rather than religion. He influenced the Nazi Alfred Rosenberg who borrowed some of his ideas in his book Die Spur des Juden im Wandel der Zeiten (The Track of the Jews Through the Ages) (1920).

1881 - 1961 MAX WEBER (Poland-USA)

A painter, he studied under Rousseau and Matisse. His subjects included landscapes, still lifes, and Jewish scenes.

1881 - 1965 MORITZ (DON MAURICIO) HOCHSCHILD (Germany- Bolivia- USA )

Mining magnate. Though criticized by the Bolivian government as a ruthless industrialist, it only recently became known that during the late 1930's, he also used his position and wealth to bring over 9000 Jews to Bolivia . Hochschild provided housing for many, and set up a Jewish school for them in La Paz .

1881 - 1963 POPE JOHN XXIII

The first Pope to speak out forcefully on behalf of the Jews. Pope John (1958-1963) followed the controversial Pope Pius XII who during the holocaust had never publicly condemned the murder of the Jews. Pope John was outspoken in his sympathy for those Jews slaughtered by the Nazi's. He composed a "Prayer of Repentance" in which he begged forgiveness for all that the Church had done to the Jews.

1881 SAMUEL GOMPERS (1850-1924) (London-USA)

A Sephardic Jew, he founded the Federation of Unions, the forerunner of the American Federation of Labor. During the first four years he refused a salary and sold cigars to support his family. He later accepted one hundred dollars a month as a stipend.

1881 February 10, LA CIVILTA CATTOLICA

The official Jesuit publication (founded by Pope Pius IX) published an article justifying pogroms as a natural consequence of the Jews demanding too much liberty. The article was written by Father Giuseppe Oreglia di Santo Stefano, one of the journal's founders.


After numerous attempts by a radical revolutionary organization known as Narodnaya Volya (the Peoples' Will), they succeeded in killing the czar, and with him died his half-hearted liberalism. On the same day of his assassination he had signed an order creating two national elected commissions which would work with the council of state. He was succeeded by his son Alexander III.

1881 March 14, REIGN OF ALEXANDER III (Russia)

Devoted to medievalism, he urged the return to a Russian civilization. Alexander III attacked and persecuted liberals and revolutionaries alike. He did not though revert to reestablishing serfdom or canceling many of the judicial reforms. The most influential person during his reign was Pobestonostov, his financier and procurator of the Holy Synod, who earned the title "the Second Torquemada". The newspapers in Moscow, Kiev, and Odessa began a campaign against the Jews. The outcome of the anti-Jewish pogroms, which were to continue almost unabated until 1905, sparked the mass emigration of Jews from Russia and its environs to the West.

1881 April 25, CHANCELLOR BISMARCK (Germany)

Accepted an anti-Semitic petition demanding, among other things, a ban on Jewish immigration. The petition bore no less than two hundred and fifty-five thousand signatures.

1881 April 28, (Easter) KHERSON, ELIZABETHGRAD (Russia)

A tavern dispute on blood libels spawned massive outbreaks against the Jews (in which soldiers often joined) in Kiev (May 12) and Odessa (May 15). In all, over a 223 pogroms occurred in Russia over the next two years. Ignatyev, the Minister of the Interior, insisted that the Jews caused the pogroms. General Drenbien refused to endanger his troops "for a few Jews".

1881 October 6, JUDAH LEIB LEVIN

Urged in the Hamgid magazine for Jews to go to America rather than Eretz Israel . “It is a country settled by enlightened people... the holy land where we would be slaves to the sultan." Levin (1844-1925) known as Yehalel, was a well known Hebrew poet and socialist. This debate was of vital importance at this time. Within 10 years almost 200,000 people would leave Russia approximately 75% of them would go to the United States.

1881 December 25, WARSAW (Poland)

Anti-Jewish riots began in Poland. In Warsaw twelve Jews were killed, many others were wounded, and some women were raped. Two million rubles worth of property was destroyed. All of this led to an increase of emigration to the west.


First Jewish Socialist organization in the United States.

1882 - 1961 ARTUR SCHNEBEL (Austria-USA)

Pianist and modern composer, he came to the United States from Austria in 1938. His interpretations of Mozart, Beethoven, and Shubert earned him world renown.

1882 SLOBODKA YESHIVAH (Lithuania-Eretz Israel)

Was founded by one of the leaders of the Mussar movement, R. Nathan Zevi Finkel. Though important in its own right, it expanded greatly after the Yeshiva of Volozhin was closed by the Czar in 1892. The Yeshiva grew to 300 students before the end of the century and to over 500 by 1920. After difficulties with the Lithuanian government in 1924, it opened a branch in Hebron. The Arab massacre in 1929 forced it to move again, this time to Jerusalem where it took the name the Hebron yeshiva. The original yeshiva reopened in Bnei Brak after World War II.

1882 - 1928 ARNOLD ROTHSTEIN "The Brain" (USA)

Gambler and criminal mastermind known as The Czar of the Underworld, Rothstein began his career as a traveling salesman. He was accredited with being the designer of the synthesis between big business and organized crime. Rothstein had his hands in everything, including allegedly fixing the outcome of the 1919 World Series. He was also the archetype for the underworld boss. His students were a Who's Who of crime, including Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano. Rothstein was killed over a gambling debt, but although he was dying, he refused to name his murderer.


Wrote Ein Zukunftsbild which envisions a Jewish state ruled by a constitutional monarchy and divided into tribes with Hebrew as its national language. He described a modern exodus and predicted a Europe without Jews after anti-Jewish persecution that would be led for the most part by Germany. Eisler wrote his book 17 years before Herzl's The Jewish State.


United States Supreme Court judge, Harvard Professor of Law, and founder of the Civil Liberties Union. Frankfurter was known as a liberal and close associate of Brandeis as well as an early supporter of the Zionist movement.He is also remembered for his role in the Sacco and Vanzetti case.


Politician, member of congress, and mayor of NYC. Although he did not overtly express his being Jewish, he was one of Hitler's earliest and fiercest opponents in the USA (see 1933). In1934, he supported the boycott of all German goods. His sister Gemma la Guardia Gluck born in the USA, was in Budapest with her husband Herman when rounded up by the NAZI's and taken to Ravensbruk as a political prisoner. Her husband Herman, did not survive.

1882 - 1943 (19 Nissan 5703) MENACHEM ZEMBA (Poland)

One of the prewar religious intellectual giants. A Gur Hassid, he published twenty manuscripts. Many others, including a 1,000 page commentary on the Jerusalem Talmud, were lost during the war. Locked in the Warsaw Ghetto, he inspired people to fight back, quoting halachic (lawful) demands to resist the Germans "with unequalled determination and valor for the sake of the sanctification of God".

1882 - 1933 YOSSELE ROSENBLATT (Ukraine-Israel)

Hazzan. Born into a Hasidic family, he showed early promise as a singer-cantor. He developed into one of the most popular cantor-composers of his era. He is remembered for his operatic works and many of his liturgical compositions are still in use today.

1882 January, COUNT NIKOLAI IGNATYEV (Russia)

The anti-Semitic minister of the Interior. He was requested by Alexander III to set up local commissions of inquiry into the blame for the recent pogroms. Ignatyev determined that they were caused by "Jewish exploitation." This led to the publishing of the May laws. In his desire to rid himself of the Jewish population, Ignatyev allowed Jews to emigrate. This resulted in massive immigration to the west. Alexander himself commented upon hearing about the pogroms "And I, to admit the truth , am glad when the Jews are being beaten".

1882 January 1, LA CROIX ( The Cross)

A French catholic news paper published an article entitled "Who Governs France". The author alleged that Jews control Germany , and asked if they will " baptized or not" eventually control France. The paper (now a daily) is still published.

1882 January 21, BILU MOVEMENT (Ukraine-Eretz Israel)

As a result of the pogroms of the previous year, the Russian students at the University of Khrakov formed their own pioneering Zionist group called BILU, for Beit Ya'akov Lekhu Ve-nelkha (House of Jacob Let Us Rise and Go) (Isaiah 2:5). Led by Israel Belkind, it called for active colonialization of Eretz Israel. The BILU aspired to both a political-economic, as well as spiritual-national revival ("de retablir la situation").

1882 March 29, (Easter) BALTA (Ukraine)

During a local pogrom, the Jews succeeded in defending themselves until local police and soldiers disarmed and arrested many of them. During the night around 5,000 peasants arrived in the city. The local priest, Radzionovsky, with the help of some of the militia, held the crowed back for an hour until the arrival of the heads of the army garrison and the district police who directly ordered the soldiers to step aside. Forty Jews were killed, 20 women raped, 170 wounded, and 1,250 dwellings destroyed, leaving fifteen thousand Jews in total poverty.

1882 April 1, TIZA-ESZLAR (Hungary)

A blood libel began when a servant girl went missing. Although not the slightest evidence was found that Jews were even remotely involved, the young son of the janitor of the synagogue was interrogated - whereby he described full details of the "murder." The Jews were then accused of having the girl kidnapped for ritual murder purposes. Fifteen people were brought to trial despite the protests of Lajos Kossuth (non-Jewish leader of the Hungarian Independence Movement) and the fact that the girl's body was found in the river. A year later all of them were acquitted.

1882 April 10, PODALIA (Russia)

A pogrom left 40 dead, 170 wounded, and 1,250 dwellings destroyed. Fifteen thousand Jews were reduced to total poverty.


Based on the "findings" of Count Ignatyev's commissions, the May or "Temporary" Laws were issued. Jews were banished from all rural areas and towns of less than ten thousand people, even within the Pale. Strict quotas were placed on the number of Jews allowed into higher education. As formulated by Konstantin Pobedonostev, the Russian statesman and anti-Semite, they were designed to "cause one-third of the Jews to emigrate, one-third to accept baptism, and one-third to starve". These laws remained in quasi-effect until 1914 and provided the impetus for migration to America as well as expanded interest in the settlement of Eretz Israel.

1882 July 6, FIRST BILU SETTLERS ARRIVED (Eretz Israel)

The first group of 14 settlers arrived and hired themselves out as agricultural laborers at Mikve Yisrael and Rishon L'Tzion.

1882 July 31, RISHON LEZION - THE FIRST ALIYAH(Eretz Israel)

Was founded by a group of 10 families. Later that year, Baron Edmond de Rothschild, in response to the Russian pogroms and a plea by Rabbi Samuel Mohilever, agreed to help the new Moshava. The settlement marked the beginning of the first Aliyah (going up) to Eretz Israel, and the beginning of Rothschild's deep involvement with settlement activities.The first Aliyah which lasted until 1904 came in three waves 1882-1884 comprising of Romanian and Russian Jews, 1890-91 from Russia and 1900-1903 from Russia and Eastern Europe. Most of the immigrants came due to harsh persecution and pogroms, economic disasters, the influence of the Hovevei Zion and the fact that there was in place a mass emigration movement throughout eastern Europe - although mostly to the United States. Around 30-40,000 Jews arrived during these periods bringing the Jewish population to 55,000.

1882 September 10, FIRST INTERNATIONAL ANTI-JEWISH CONGRESS (Dresden, Germany)

Presided over by Adolf Stoecker, founder of the Christian Socialist Party, court chaplin to Kaiser Wilhelm, and a member of the Reichstag for almost 20 years

1882 October 17, LEON PINSKER (Poland)

Published his Auto-Emancipation as a result of the Russian pogroms of the previous year. Pinsker advocated establishing a homeland as a cure for anti-Semitism. Eretz Israel was not his original suggestion, and only later did he join the fledgling Zionist movement.

1882 December 12, ROSH PINA (Eretz Israel)

Was founded by 130 Romanian Jews. Ironically they arrived on a ship to Beirut named the Titus.. The settlement was originally founded by residents of Safed in 1878 who had named it Gei Oni ("Valley of My Strength) but was abandoned after less then two years.

1883 - 1944 AARON ABRAHAM KABAK (Russia-Eretz Israel)

An outstanding early Hebrew novelist. Kabak authored many novels and short stories which were very popular. His historical trilogy on Solomon Molcho is considered the first historical novel in Hebrew.


Was established in New York and in Chicago as a religious day school.

1883 HARTUV (Artuf) ( Eretz- Israel)

Land near the today’s town of Beit Shemesh, was purchased to set up an agricultural settlement by the Jewish Refugees fund”. Headed by Lord Aberdeen its purpose was to provide Russian refugees with work and to eventually convert them - it lasted 3 years. Twelve years later it was bought and settled by Jews from Bulgaria. rnrn

1883 - 1936 LEV KAMENEV (Rosenfeld) (Russia)

Revolutionary writer and Soviet leader. A colleague of Lenin's, he co-edited revolutionary journals. Prior to the Revolution, Kamenev lead the movement in Tiflis, Georgia, and supposedly introduced Stalin to Lenin. Kamenev married Trotsky's sister, who asked him to edit his Party newspaper Pravda. After Lenin's death, he formed a triumvirate together with Stalin and Zinoviev which forced Trotsky into exile. Later, realizing Stalin's true direction of becoming a dictator, he began to oppose him. This cost him his power and eventually his life. Kamenev was executed in 1936 after a show trial.

1883 February 4, COUNT K.I. PAHLEN (Russia)

Was commissioned by Alexander III to "Study of the Current Laws Concerning the Jews" . His report, issued on May 24, 1888, recommended by a majority opinion "changing the system of laws and restrictions for a system of graduated laws of freedom and equality". They counted around 650 special laws concerning the Jews." The czar decided to accept the minority report by Count Dimitri Tolstoy, to continue the policy of preventing Jews from leaving certain areas and even instituted a quota for Jews at universities and secondary schools.

1883 July 4, - 1924 FRANZ KAFKA (Germany)

Author who combined psychological analysis and moral philosophy in his brilliant works, i.e. The Trial, The Castle, and America. His metaphysical thinking was reflected in his belief in the "indestructible" in men who are always "guilty". Kafka became one of the most influential writers of the 20th century. He had little contact with Judaism and considered temple services "boring", yet as he grew older he began to take an interest in Zionism tried to learn Hebrew and even considered the idea of emigrating to Eretz Israel. None of Kafka's novels was printed during his lifetime. In spite of his instructions to destroy his manuscripts after his death, his friend Max Brod published them.

1883 July 11, THE "TREFA BANQUET" )Cincinnati, Ohio(

In celebration of the first graduating class of the Hebrew union college, and the 10th anniversary of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (today known as the Union for Reform Judaism), a meal was served. Although it did not including pork, they did serve shellfish and frogs legs. Although Isaac Meyer Wise did not initial approve of the menu, he refused to condemn it, calling those who protested as advocating “kitchen Judaism.” This resulted in a split in the movement, and the creation of the Jewish Theological Seminary three years later.


Anti-Jewish riots began and continued until 1904. Many Jews immigrated to Anatolia, Turkey.

1884 HERMAN ARON (1845-1913) (Germany)

Invented the electric meter. While watching his father repair clocks he hit upon the idea of measuring electricity by passing the current through a clock pendulum and noting how fast the hands moved. He also pioneered the wireless telegraph.

1884 LADINO (Bulgaria)

The first Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) newspaper La Alborada (Dawn) was published in Bulgaria


As a result of constant persecutions Jews began to emigrate to Eretz Israel.


William Hechler (1845 -1931) an Anglican minister, had traveled to Eastern Europe two years earlier to investigate anti-Semitism. There he met with Leon Pinsker who introduced him to modern Zionism. In Hechler's pamphlet, he called for the Jews to return to Eretz Israel. Hechler attended the first Zionist congress and formed a strong relationship with Herzl. He made great efforts to encourage close ties between the grand duke of Baden and Herzl and even tried to arrange a meeting between Herzl and the czar. His house was also a museum which included Montefiore's carriage, which he donated to the Eretz Israel museum upon his death.


The first group of Yemenite Jews moved into small huts and caves in a small village on the slopes facing the city of David. Due to their dark complexion, different pronunciation of Hebrew and dissimilar customs, the Jewish community initially treated them with suspicion, As such; the first people to help them were Christian missionaries. Later, they were aided by Rabbi Israel Dov Fromkin, who established the Ezrat Nidachim (Help for the Remote), society. By 1891, there were 45 permanent stone houses, and a synagogue (Beit Knesset Ohel Shlomo). After the riots of 36-38 the residents war evacuated (see August 1938).

1884 November 6 - 8, HOVEVEI ZION (HIBBAT ZION)(Lovers of Zion) (Germany)

Was founded in Kattowitz, Germany (which is now known as Katowice, Poland). Thirty-six delegates met in the first Pre-Herzl Zionist Conference. Rabbi Mohilever was elected president and Leon Pinsker was elected chairman. Under their guidance they tried to secure financial help (from Baron Edmond de Rothschild and others) for the new Jewish settlements to organize educational courses as well as counsel them about religious guidelines. They are considered the forerunner and foundation of the modern Zionist movement. This movement was mostly active in Russia and Romania, but it had branches throughout Europe and even some in the USA. Due in part to their precarious position within Eastern Europe, the Hovevei Zion did not deal with Zionism as a political movement.


One of the foremost authorities on Romanian literature and folklore, he was exiled to England after he protested Romanian anti-Jewish policies.


Was founded at theVolozhin Yeshiva ( Etz Hayyim), with the quiet support of Rabbi Berlin. The society which had 50 members in its first year, was kept secret so as not to upset the czarist government ,and was dedicated to encouraging the rebuilding of the land of Israel. When the Russian police closed it, a new society was formed, Netzach Yisrael (1891). Among the founders was Chayim Nachman Bialik.

1885 - 1940 BERNARD (DOV) REVEL (Lithuania - USA)

Rabbi and educator. Revel began his studies in Europe at the famous Telz Yeshiva. After graduating with a M.A. from NYU and a doctorate from Dropsie College, the first awarded at that school, he decided to move to Oklahoma and work in his father-in-law's oil business. In 1915, he was asked to serve as dean of the Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary in New York. Revel's dream was to combine secular and tradition education. With this in mind he opened a state-accredited high school, the talmudical Academy (1916), and despite fierce opposition, Yeshiva College (1928) which later became Yeshiva University.

1885 - 1944 GEORGES MANDEL (France)

Politician and journalist, possessed a photographic memory. His mentor was Georges Clemenceau. Mandel was a member of the Chamber of Deputies for 17 years. As early as 1933 he warned of the danger of war with Germany. During the war he was captured by the Germans and murdered by the Vichy.

1885 - 1962 NIELS BOHR (Denmark)

Physicist and Nobel laureate. Developed the theory on the nature of the atom. During the Nazi occupation, he was rescued and taken to Sweden. The Allies were under pressure to take him to London so that he could work on the atom bomb project. Bohr refused to leave until he had a firm promise from King Gustav of Sweden to give sanctuary to any Danish Jew reaching his shore. Only once the agreement was made public did he agree to leave for London.


He served as Rabbi and the chief justice of the rabbinical court (av bet din) in Pishtian, Hungary. As a follower of the Munkaczer Rebbe, he had originally supported his anti-Zionist approach. However, his witness of the 1938 Nazi invasion into Czechoslovakia and its persecution of the Jews changed his views. He wrote Em ha-banim semeicha. (A happy mother of children) which was published in 1943. Teichtal in opposition to his Rebbe defended the position of rebuilding the land of Israel, believing that it was the key to eventual redemption. He was killed in the last days of the war on a transport train from Auschwitz trying to defend a fellow Jew. He also wrote a responsa entitled Mishneh Sochir.

1885 January 27, - 1945 JEROME KERN (USA)

Songwriter. One of America's great composers of popular songs, Kern wrote over 1,000 songs for more than 100 shows and films. He won two Academy Awards, one for The Last Time I Saw Paris and the other for The Way You Look Tonight. Other famous songs include Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and from his famous collaboration with Oscar Hammerstein in Show Boat, Ol? Man River.


Became the first Jewish peer in England as Lord Rothschild. After a long and bitter fight, he took his seat in the House of Lords. The Christian oath was amended so that non-Christians could also serve in the House of Lords.

1885 July 12, - 1920 AMEDEO MODIGLIANI (Livorno, Italy)

Painter and sculptor. One of the first great Jewish artists with a flair for the human (mainly female) body. Most of his paintings are memorable for their long necks and oval faces and earthy tones.

1885 November 16 - 18, PITTSBURGH PLATFORM (USA)

A council on Reform Judaism which rejected the Messianic concept and the return to Eretz Israel. The platform took Reform further than the English Reform movement in that it also rejected dietary laws, some Mosaic legislation, and the Talmud. The platform was adopted four years later by the Reform Rabbinical organization, the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR). Many rabbis resented the extremes to which Reform had gone and formed their own groups (i.e. Sabato Morais, 1823) which led to the creation of the Conservative movement.


Was founded in New York by Dr. Sabato Morais. The goal of the Jewish Theological Seminary was the training of rabbis and teachers in traditional Judaism. It is generally considered to lean more towards Conservatism than Orthodoxy.

1886 - 1969 (9 Nissan 5729) ARYEH LEVIN ("Father of the Prisoners") (Eretz Israel)

Known as Reb Aryeh, he was ordained by Rabbis Chaim Berlin and Samuel Salant. He devoted himself to volunteer work at the leper hospital and the prison in Jerusalem, as well as working in a yeshiva. He considered visiting and helping those jailed by the British Mandatory Government his special mission. Reb Aryeh consistently refused all honors, choosing to live in near poverty in the Mishkenot section of Jerusalem.

1886 - 1939 BELA KUN (Hungary)

A young supporter of Lenin, he eventually became the head of the Hungarian government, forming a Soviet Republic. Kun refused to tolerate any opposition and his harsh line alienated the peasants. He was forced to flee after a series of disasters. Kun was killed by Stalin in 1939. Although totally alienated from Judaism he did appoint other Jews to governmental positions. After his collapse, anti-Jewish riots broke out. Approximately 7,000 were murdered.

1886 - 1932 BORIS SHATZ (Lithuania -Eretz Israel)

Artist and sculptor in 1906 he founded the Bezallel Academy of Arts, which also included crafts in 1908 he also opened the Bezallel museum, which eventually became the Israeli museum. He is considered the "father of Israeli art".


Published his notorious anti-Semitic harangue La France Juive in which he attributed all of France's ills to the Jews. His writings helped provoke and maintain the Dreyfus Affair.

1886 - 1937 SIMON DIMANSTEIN (Russia)

Communist leader. Dimanstein received rabbinical ordination by Haim Ozer Grodzenski but became active in the revolutionary movement. After the revolution, he became minister of Labor in Lithuania. He edited Der Emess, an anti-religious, anti-Zionist, and anti-Bundist periodical. He became head of the Institute for National Minorities and was a strong proponent of Jewish settlement in Birobidzhan. His early closeness to Joseph Stalin didn't prevent his execution during the purges of 1937.

1886 February 12, HA-YOM (Russia)

The first Hebrew daily newspaper was published in St. Petersburg, Russia

1886 March 15, YESHIVA ETZ CHAIM (USA)

Was founded in New York. It was the first American yeshiva to include the study of Talmud.

1886 May 26, - 1950 AL JOLSON (Lithuania-USA)

Entertainer. Jolson, born Asa Yoelson the son of a cantor(hazzan), became one of the big stars of vaudeville and an early film star. He loved to work the audience and and after singing for three hours with incredible energy, he could still call out: "You ain't heard nothin' yet." Jolson was successful in Broadway musicals and starred in the first full length talking movie The Jazz Singer in (1927) which reflected his own life. He was also the first entertainer to perform overseas for the USO (United Service Organization). He died soon after returning from performing for the troops in Korea. His two signature songs were Swanee and My Mammy.

1886 October 16, - 1973 DAVID BEN GURION (Poland-Eretz Israel)

Came to Eretz Israel as David Green in 1906. He joined the Jewish legion, rose in the ranks of the Zionist Labor Party, and created the Histadrut or Labor Confederation. Ben Gurion formulated the official Zionist policies during the Second World War and became Israel's first Prime Minister. He founded his own party (MAPAI) and joined with the religious parties and the general Zionist party to form a coalition. He served on and off until 1963 as Minister of Defense and Prime Minister. He played an important part in the Israeli victory in 1956. After 1963 he retired to a kibbutz (Sde Boker) in the Negev, which he called on the younger generation to settle.

1886 December 25, - 1929 FRANZ ROSENZWEIG (Germany)

Born into an assimilated Jewish family, he decided to convert to Christianity by first discovering Judaism. He never converted, but became a practicing Jew and renowned philosopher. His book, Star of Redemption, centered on the part that tradition should play in the life of a Jew and the role of Judaism in the world. Later in life he became paralyzed but continued to dictate his works to his wife. He helped create the Free Jewish House of Study in Frankfurt, and collaborated with Buber on a new translation of the Bible.


Although Jews were forcibly conscripted into the army, they were banned from all military schools. This was soon followed by Jews being prohibited from joining the army medical corps and military bands. At the same time, Jewish communities were severely fined if the quota of Jewish conscripts wasn't reached. In addition, new education restrictions were instituted: no more than ten percent of Jews in the Pale and five percent outside the Pale were allowed to attend University.

1887 - 1959 ZALMAN SHNEOUR (Sklow, Belarus)

Radical Hebrew poet. His verse on the first Russian revolution served as an inspiration for younger generation radicals. In 1913 Shneour accurately predicted in his poetry the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe. His poems on the shtetl are some of his most widely published works, and although he also achieved recognition as a Yiddish poet his real fame lies as one of the great modern Hebrew poets.

1887 - 1934 (7 Cheshvan 5695) MEIR SHAPIRO (Poland)

Rabbi, communal leader, educator and founder of Chachmei (Hakhmei) Lublin Yeshiva, the first with modern facilities. Shapiro was elected to the Polish Sejm in 1923 and served as one of the most forceful defenders of Polish Jewry for two years. He was the innovator of Daf Yomi, the learning of a page of Talmud a day, as a means for encouraging adult education. This method enables one to complete the Talmud in 7.5 years. Though he died at a young age, he left a heritage which remains a unifying factor throughout Orthodox Jewry today.

1887 - 1970 MORRIS COHEN ("Two Gun Cohen") (Canada)

General, marksman, and gunrunner to the Chinese army. He served in World War I and later, due to his personal friendship with the local Chinese community in Canada, as Sun Yat Sen's personal bodyguard, saving his life a number of times. Chaing Kai-Shek appointed him a general in the Kuomintang Army. He trained the Chinese army against Japan. Cohen was captured by the Japanese and tortured. He was only released after the end of the war. He was one of the few people who tried to reconcile the two Chinese factions (nationalist and communist) and was always welcomed by both governments.


A German orientalist and anti-Semite, wrote the essay "Jews and Indo-Germanics. “One would have to have a heart of steel to not feel sympathy for the poor Germans, and, by the same token, to not hate the Jews,… (or) those who…advocate for the Jews, or are too cowardly to crush these vermin". He laid the foundation for Stoecker (see 1879) and Nazi ideology.

1887 - 1976 RENE SAMUEL CASSIN (France)

French jurist and Nobel Laureate. Cassin served as a legal advisor to the League of Nations and served with General Charles de Gaulle during World War II. With the founding of the United Nations Cassin was the chief architect of the Declaration of Human Rights and served as president of the European court of Human Rights. His work earned him the Nobel Peace Prize. Cassin was also active in helping rebuild the Jewish communities in France and North Africa after the war.

1887 - 1946 SIDNEY HILLMAN (Lithuania - USA)

Although originally trained for the rabbinate, Hillman became active at a very early-stage in the trade union movement (the Bund) in Lithuania. After spending time in jail for illegal activities, he immigrated first to England and then to the United States. There he helped establish the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA). As its president, he was responsible for a 44 hour work week and unemployment insurance. In 1935, he helped establish the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO). Hillman was a strong Zionist and joined the Jewish Agency in 1929. During WWII he was Roosevelt's chief labor advisor.

1887 THEODOR FRITSCH (1852-1933) (Germany)

Founded the Hammer Publishing House, which specialized in anti-Semitic publications. Fritsch, one of the mentors of the Nazi movement, worked to repeal the emancipation law and later became a member of the Nazi Reichstag.


The educational and spiritual center of Conservative Judaism. It was opened under the leadership of Sabato Morais. Morais, a rabbi of Congregation Mikve Israel in Philadelphia, sought to train rabbis who would help preserve Jewish traditions which he felt were being eroded by the "reformers" and their Pittsburgh Platform. In 1902, under Solomon Schechter, the Seminary was reorganized and the name changed to JTS.

1887 January 28, - 1982 ARTHUR RUBINSTEIN (Poland-USA)

One of the greatest pianists of the 20th century. Rubinstein performed at an early age with Joseph Joachim in Berlin. In his early years, he was famous for his interpretations of Chopin. After settling in the United States, he toured extensively giving up to 150 concerts a year. Rubinstein had a strong connection with Israel and Judaism; refusing to play in Germany after WWII and supporting Israel at every chance. The Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition was established in Israel in 1974. He played into his eighties and wrote two autobiographies, My Young Years and My Many Years.

1887 June 7, - 1990 MARC CHAGALL (Vitebsk, Russia-France)

Artist, famous for his folkist fairy-tale cubist paintings of Eastern Europe. He helped establish the Russian Yiddish state theater. Later he went to live in Paris, where he was friendly with Modigliani and Soutine. Chagall designed the stained glass windows of the Hadassah Hospital synagogue in Jerusalem. His works are also displayed at the New York Metropolitan Opera House, the Paris Opera, the United Nations, the Cathedral at Metz, and the Knesset.

1888 - 1969 THEODORE REIK (USA)

Psychoanalyst and disciple of Freud. Reik is credited with spreading the popularity of psychoanalyses in the USA and founded the National Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis. He wrote over 50 books on everything from his psychoanalytic theories in Listening with the Third Ear and Masochism and the Modern man to Pagan Rites in Judaism and Jewish Wit which analyses Jewish Humor.


Established in New York by Morris Helquit as a Jewish union. Its official correspondence was carried out in Yiddish.

1888 - 1959 (19 Tamuz 5719) ISAAC HALEVI HERZOG (Eretz Israel)

Rabbi Herzog, who also held a doctorate in literature, served as the Chief Rabbi in the Irish Free State. He succeeded Rabbi Kook as Chief Rabbi in Eretz Israel in 1936, a post he held for 22 years. Herzog was respected by all walks of Israeli life. After the Holocaust, he spent 6 months in Europe searching for Jewish children who had been hidden in monasteries. His writings include Divrei Yitzchak on the Talmud, Heichal Yitzchak on responsa and Main Institutions of Jewish Law. His son Chaim became Israel's sixth President.

1888 RABBI JACOB JOSEPH (1840-1902) (Lithuania-USA)

Arrived in New York to become the official chief Rabbi of the orthodox community. Joseph had studied with Israel Salanter and Hersh Leib Berlin (Netziv) at the Volozhin Yeshiva. Joseph (1840-1902) was a European traditionalist and unlike many other orthodox Rabbis in the US, he did not have any formal secular education. He fought to establish one authority for education and Kashrut (dietary laws).


Its purpose was and is to publish books of Jewish interest in English. Among its hundreds of publications are Graetz's, Dubnow's and Baron's History of the Jews, and Ginsburg's Legends of the Jews. Other important authors included Israel Zangwill, Leo Baeck, Cecil Roth, Jacob R. Marcus, and Louis Finkelstein. They have also published the American Jewish Yearbook for nearly 100 years (1899).

1888 July 17, - 1970 SAMUEL JOSEPH AGNON (Galicia-Eretz Israel)

Famous Hebrew novelist, Nobel Prize winner and writer of short stories. He portrayed Jewish life in Galicia and the yearning for a life in Eretz Israel. In addition to his novels he wrote two works of non-fiction: Yamim Noraim, an anthology on Yom Kippur, and Sefer, Sofer V'sippur, about books and authors.


Jews were officially allowed to live in three cities: Helsinki, Turku, and Vyborg. Although there were already about 1,000 Jews in Finland, until this date all Jews were temporary residents and had to renew their permits every three months. They were only permitted to deal in second-hand clothes and were forbidden to leave their city of residence.


Was appointed Senator of the Realm. As one of the foremost pioneers in the field of Philology and as a Jew, he spent much of his time working on ancient Hebrew inscriptions found in Italy.

1889 - 1944 I.J. SINGER (Poland-USA)

Older brother of Isaac Bashevis Singer. He is known for his naturalistic and realistic styles of writing including Yoshe Kalb, The Brothers Ashkenazi and East of Eden.

1889 - 1919 JACOB SVERDLOFF (Russia)

Communist organizer and leader. An early communist activist, he was exiled to a prison camp on an island near the Artic circle. Sverdloff tried to escape 5 times, the last time in a small boat which capsized during a storm. After the Revolution, Stalin recognized his organizational capabilities and appointed him the first secretary of the Central Committee. Sverdloff worked closely with both Stalin and Lenin, ensuring that the Bolshevik faction would be the strongest. In his honor the city Yekaterinburg was renamed Sverdlovsk.


First began. Although Jews had been living in Argentina since the beginning of the 17th century they only received rights in 1853. To a great extent this was achieved through the efforts of Baron de Hirsch's Jewish Colonial Association (JCA). A census taken two years earlier showed 366 Jews in Buenos Aires.

1889 POLNO (Poland)

A young Jew named Hilsner was imprisoned on a ritual murder charge. Although there wasn't any real incriminating evidence, he was kept in jail until after the Revolution in 1918.


Jews were not allowed to practice law without a special permit.

1889 ISAAC ALGAZI (Izmir, Turkey – Montevideo, Uruguay)

Cantor and early Sephardic recording artist. And know as “Ne’im Zemirot Israel “(Sweet Singer of Israel). Algazi was a third generation cantor , the scion of a family who had roots in turkey since the very beginning of the 17th century. He was a pioneer in recording ladino (Judeo-Spanish) folk songs , religious music, and classic Turkish music.


Labor leader and activist. In September 1910, she led 16 women to strike against poor working conditions. Eventually 40,000 people joined the strike, paralyzing the industry. Abramowitz joined with labor leader Sidney Hillman (whom she would marry) to found Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA). She served in the AFL-CIO, and was an early and strong supporter for the Civil Rights Movement. President John F. Kennedy appointed her to the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.

1889 - 1943 KALONYMUS KALMAN SHAPIRA ( Szapiro) (Piaseczno, Poland)

Rabbi, community leader, and innovative educator. In his Chovat haTalmidim (“The Students’ Responsibility”), he promoted active participation by the students in their studies. Rabbi Shapira argued that a child must be imbued “with a vision of his own potential greatness” and be enlisted “as an active participant in his own development. His often forthright Sermons during the holocaust also dealt with belief in times of annihilation. They were preserved in a canister and published in 1960 as Eish Kodesh (" Holy Fire").

1889 - 1974 WALTER LIPPMAN (USA)

Columist and Journalist. Lippman was for several years an assistant to the philosopher George Santayana, a position which undoubtedly influenced his journalistic approach. He won two Pulitzer prizes, one in 1958 and the other in 1962. His daily column was read internationally. His nearly 30 books include The Cold War (1947), The Public Philosophy (1955), and Drift and Mastery (1961).

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