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April 19, 1943: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began

On April 19, 1943, the Warsaw ghetto uprising began after German troops and police entered the ghetto to deport its surviving inhabitants. By May 16, 1943, the Germans had crushed the uprising and left...

March 16, 597 BCE: Jerusalem Falls To Babylon

Jerusalem fell to Nebuchadnezzar II, the king of the Babylonian Empire, on this date in 597 BCE, following a four-month siege, according to the Babylonian Chronicles, a set of tablets currently possessed by the...

January 20, 1496: Decree of Expulsion Issued for Portuguese Jews

Following the death of King Joao of Portugal in 1494, his son King Manuel I ascended the throne. When his legitimacy as heir to the throne was challenged, Manuel wished to marry Princess Isabel...

The Diary of the Polish Anne Frank

The Secret Diary of the Holocaust, streaming on Amazon is actually a BBC documentary (originally broadcast in January 2009) recounting the life of Rutka Laskier. Rutka was just 14 years old but was best known as...

September 16, 1614: Frankfurt Jews Expelled

Frankfort-on-the-Main, some 400 years ago... The city of Frankfurtwas even then an important center of business and trade. It was famous for its annual trade fairs, when merchants from far and near came to buy...
Abraham Joshua Heschel walks with Martin Luther King Jr. on civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Courtesy of the American Jewish Archives

Jews and Blacks: Failure to communicate

Movie fans should recognize this line from Cool Hand Luke: “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate.” Such a sentiment aptly describes relations between the Black and Jewish communities, as Rodney Muhammad, president of...

May 29, 1938: Hungary enacts its first anti-Jewish law

On May 29, 1938, Hungary enacted its first anti-Jewish law. Although the country had not been occupied or annexed by Germany, under pressure from the Nazis it began to adopt restrictions on its Jewish...

FDR not as portrayed in ‘Plot Against America’

In HBO’s recent adaptation of the Philip Roth novel The Plot Against America, American Jews are coerced by President Charles Lindbergh to move to rural parts of the country so they will become “Americanized” and...

May 5, 475: The Talmud, completed

Rabbi Ravina ben Huna, known as Ravina II, head of the Jewish academy at Sura, a key center of learning in Babylonia, is said to have died on this date in 475. Tradition holds...

The Rabbi Behind the Founding of the Jewish State

Upon the establishment of the State of Israel, Rabbi Yehuda Leib HaKohen Maimon became the first Minister of Religious Affairs of Medinat Yisrael – the State of Israel. Perhaps more than anyone else, it...