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1900 - 1990 AARON COPLAND (USA)

Composer and conductor. He used American themes and jazz as the starting point for much of his music, including his famous Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid, and Rodeo.

1900 - 1987 PHILIP LEVINE (Russia-USA)

Immunohematologist. Levine did extensive work on human blood groups and blood transfusion, discovering many blood groups including the Rh factors.

1900 January 1, (1 Nissan 1900 ) - May 5, (5 Tishrei 1900 )

1900 March, CYPRUS

Davis (David) Trietsch, a German writer and Zionist leader, brought 11 families from Galicia to Cyprus. This as an experiment to see if Cyprus could serve as a temporary safe haven until Jews could be settled in Eretz Israel. Trietsch, (1870–1935) conceived of the idea in 1896, a year before the first Zionist congress, but only began to act on it in 1899.Unfortuatly, due to poor planning the project failed. In 1903 when the debate regarding a temporary home for Jews arose, Trietsch began quiet negotiations with the British. The opposition of the Greek Orthodox Church to any Jewish settlement on the island brought an end to his idea.

1900 March 15, KONITZ (Germany)

A blood libel occurred after the death of a local student. Wolf Israelski was accused and arrested, while Count Plucker promoted riots against the Jews. After Israelski was proven innocent, two others, Moritz Lewy and Rosenthal, were arrested on the same charge. Rosenthal and Lewy were acquitted, but Lewy was sentenced to four years for denying he knew the victim. All the evidence was based on the testimony of a petty thief, Masloff, who later received only one year for perjury.


After debating the issue of Jewish innocence of blood libels the Holy Office of the Inquisition ruled that Vatican cannot issue any declaration that the Jews are innocent. Pope Leo XIII approved the conclusion. "Although nothing was found either in the Holy Office or at the Secretariat of State, where careful research was undertaken, bearing on this accusation ... ritual murder is a historical certainty....


Was produced by Dr. Isadore Singer in Philadelphia.

1901 RELIEF SOCIETY FOR GERMAN JEWS (Hilsvereinder Deutschen Juden) (Germany)

Was founded. It was designed to help Eastern European Jews immigrate to Germany.

1901 - 1977 HO FENG-SHAN (China)

Chinese diplomat who served as the consul general in Vienna, Austria. After its annexation by Germany, Ho issued about 2000 visas for Jews to Shanghai. This despite the explicit orders by the Chinese ambassador in Berlin, Chen Jie who wanted strong German - Chinese relations.

1901 - 1948 WITOLD PILECKI ( Poland)

Catholic Polish officer, and Polish patriot . Pilecki formed the Secret Polish Army ( TAP) in 1939, which was eventual absorbed into the Home army Armia Krajowa( AK). In September 1940, he volunteered to be sent to Auschwitz in order to gather information and set up an underground, hoping that the allies and the Polish underground would attack the camp. He remained there for 19 months, eventually escaping . His report known as Witold's Report, was the first and most extensive report on the camp. After the war he volunteered to set up an anti communist cell in Poland. Pilecki was caught and executed by the Russians in Warsaw.

1901 February 2, - 1987 JASCHA HEIFETZ (Lithuania-USA)

Violinist. He started lessons at age three and debuted at age seven. He is considered by many to be the greatest violinist of the century. Heifetz arranged and transcribed more than one hundred classical and modern compositions.

1901 May 17, HERZL (Ottoman Empire)

Met with the Sultan of Turkey to discuss the establishment of a Jewish state and the obtaining of a charter. Herzl failed in both attempts.

1901 September 28, - 1990 WILLIAM SAMUEL PALEY (USA)

Radio and television pioneer. Paley began his career working in his father's cigar manufacturing plant. In 1920, he bought a failing chain of radio stations and turned it into the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS). Paley was also one of the first to see the possibilities of television right after WWII.

1901 December 30, (19 Tevet 5662) JEWISH NATIONAL FUND (Keren Kayemet L'Yisrael) (Switzerland-Eretz Israel)

Was created at the 5th Zionist Congress in Basel. Conceived of by Dr. H. Schapira, it was dedicated to purchasing and reclaiming land in order to create a national homeland. The land was bought and leased to settlers for a period of forty-nine years. This was in accordance with Jewish law in which land is leased only until Jubilee (forty-nine years) and then returned to its original owner. Today the JNF is actively involved in afforestation, water reserves, and the environment, as well as education.


Enacted anti-alien legislation.

1902 - 1914 ERETZ ISRAEL

Twenty-nine settlements were started by the World Zionist Organization.


Was organized in the United States by Russian Jews to serve as counselors, interpreters, attorneys, and an employment service, as well as to help them find their relatives.

1902 - 1979 RICHARD ROGERS (USA)

Musical Composer. Rogers first teemed up as a student with Lorenz Hart with whom he wrote many musicals including Babes in Arms and Pal Joey. After Hart's death Rogers became partners with Oscar Hammerstein II (1895-1960). Their collaborations included Oklahoma, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music.


A German bureaucrat who became the Russian Minister of Interior. During that same year he suppressed a peasant's revolt.

1902 LILY MONTAGU (1873-1963) (England)

Daughter of Samuel Montagu, Lord Swaythling (of the United Synagogue movement), she joined Claude Joseph Montefiore (a great-nephew of Sir Moses Montefiore) to develop the first Liberal Synagogue in London. At the age of 20 she founded the West Central Girls' Club (West Central Jewish Day Settlement) for working girls which she continued to run all of her life.

1902 - 1994 (3 Tamuz 5754) MENACHEM MENDEL SCHNEERSOHN (Russia-USA)

Rabbi and Hasidic leader of the Habad - Lubavitch movement. Although he was not a direct descendent, he was chosen by Rabbi Jacob Joseph Schneersohn, his father-in-law, as his designated successor. After leaving Russia, Schneersohn pursued a degree at the Sorbonne in philosophy and electrical engineering. He arrived in the USA in 1941 and worked for a few years as an electrical engineer for the U.S. Navy. After the war Schneersohn headed the Merkos L'Inyonei Chinuch - the educational arm of the Habad movement. With his father-in-law's death in 1950 he was officially appointed as his successor. Under the direction of "the Rebbe" (as he was popularly known), Habad became a world-wide movement that sent its emissaries to remote corners of the world. Having no heirs, Habad was left without a spiritual leader after his passing.

1902 - 1972 MORRIS "MOE" BERG (USA)

Baseball player and spy. Berg, a major league catcher for several years, had a degree from both Princeton and the Columbia Law School. Before World War II he was asked by the U.S. government to take on a number of spy missions in Europe. He spoke 12 languages and served in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the precursor to the CIA.

1902 March 5, MIZRACHI MOVEMENT (Vilna,Lithuania)

Was set up by Rabbi Isaac Jacob Reines as a religious Zionist organization based on the Basel Program and commitment to the Torah. Mizrachi (the acronym of Merkaz Ruchani (Spiritual Center)) is both an ideological and an educational movement. Its slogan "Eretz Israel for the people of Israel according to the Torah of Israel" expressed the idea that the Torah is the spiritual heart of Zionism. There were bitter debates regarding the inclusion of cultural activities in addition to practical political Zionism. Within a year over 200 branches were established in Russia, and within two years the Mizrachi World Organization was established. The Mizrachi workers movement "Hapo'el Hamizrachi" tried to organize and unify the early religious pioneers. Mizrachi has a youth movement - Bnei Akiva - and two women's organizations - Emunah and AMIT.


Was established at a meeting of 60 mostly Eastern European orthodox Rabbis. Among them were Dov Arye Leventhal, and Moshe Zevulun Margolies (known as "RAMAZ). .It became known as the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada. Among their declarations was that only officially recognized orthodox rabbis can serve. They initially were against any Americanized Rabbis and found themselves in conflict with the union of orthodox Jewish congregations of America which had been founded 6 years earlier by Hayyim Pereira Mendes

1902 October 30, HERZL

Published a romantic utopian novel Altneuland (Old-New Land). In it, Herzl portrayed his vision of the Jewish state.

1903 - 1907 RUSSIA

During these 4 years, 500,000 Jews fled Russia, with 90% of them going to the United States.

1903 - 1976 SYDNEY FRANKLIN (Frumkin) (USA-Mexico-Spain)

Bullfighter, born in Brooklyn, New York. He studied in Mexico and retired after over five thousand bullfights in Mexico and Spain. Franklin was a close friend of Ernest Hemingway and served as a foreign correspondent during the Spanish Civil War. He later became a sports writer and bullfight commentator and wrote his biography Bullfighter from Brooklyn.

1903 - 1995 EZRA AHARON (AZZORI) SHASHOUA (Iraq-Land of Israel)

Known as the “Prince of Oriental Song”, he was a prolific composer, singer and master Ud player. Aharon composed songs in Hebrew and Arabic and organized Kochave ha-Mizrach (Stars of the Orient) which performed often on the Israel radio station Kol Yisrael and at concerts.

1903 - 1952 JAKOB ROSENFELD aka General Luo (Lemberg - Tel Aviv)

Physician and health minister in the Communist army's provisional government. Rosenfeld a Viennese doctor, fled Germany in 1939, being released after spending time in Dachau and Buchenwald. He found passage to china , where he joined the Chinese communists as a field doctor. He remained as part of the People's Liberation Army until 1949 when he returned to Europe to search for relatives. Unable to get a visa to return to china, he immigrated to Israel.

1903 - 1993 JOSEPH DOV SOLOVEITCHIK, "the Rav" (Poland-USA)

Rabbi, philosopher and scholar. Beginning as a young talmudic scholar, he received his doctorate in philosophy at the University of Berlin. He immigrated to the USA with his wife Tonya who had a doctorate in education. Soloveitchik founded the first Jewish day school in New England and in 1941 succeeded his father as professor of Talmud at Yeshiva University. He was offered but declined to become the Chief Rabbi in Israel (1959). Though reluctant at first to publish his writings, he had a profound affect on Orthodox Jewry. Among his books and essays are Ish ha-Halacha (The man of Halacha), The Lonely Man of Faith, Al ha-Teshuvah (On Repentance), and Be-Sod ha-Yachad (Aloneness and Togetherness).

1903 - 1944 ORDE CHARLES WINGATE, (Hayedid "The Friend")

An officer in the British army was posted to Eretz Israel after the beginning of the 1936 riots as a captain in British intelligence. He quickly became enamored with the Zionist cause and often chided the "establishment" for not being militant enough. He worked with the Haganah, to train Special Night Squads (S.N.S.), a guerrilla unit he formed, that would specialize in counter terror attacks. Wingate earned the ire of the British after testifying before the Woodhead Commission. In 1939, he was transferred to Ethiopia and then India, probably due to his outspoken pro-Zionist beliefs. He died in March 1944 in a plane crash. The Wingate Institute and Yemin Orde (a children's village) are named after him.

1903 April 19, KISHINEV (Bessarabia)

Riots broke out after a Christian child, Michael Ribalenko, was found murdered (Feb. 16). Although it was clear that the boy had been killed by a relative, the government chose to call it a ritual murder plot by the Jews. The mobs were incited by Pavolachi Krusheven, the editor of the anti-Semitic newspaper Bessarabetz, and the vice governor, Ustrugov. Vyacheslav Von Plehve, the Minister of Interior, supposedly gave orders not to stop the rioters. During three days of rioting, forty-seven Jews were killed, ninety-two severely wounded, five hundred slightly wounded and over seven hundred houses were destroyed. Despite a world-wide outcry, only two men were sentenced to seven and five years and twenty-two were sentenced for one or two years. This pogrom was instrumental in convincing tens of thousands of Russian Jews to leave Russia for the West and for Eretz Israel. The child's real murderer was later found.


Wrote the poem In the City of Slaughter. In this poem Bialik chastised the Jews for not defending themselves in the massacre of Kishinev. Herzl was also affected by Kishinev and he decided to visit Russia and give consideration to the Uganda Plan. In America, groundwork was laid for the American Jewish Committee and American Jewry was cast into international prominence.

1903 July, - August, SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS (London)

Rise of Lenin's group known as the Iskra (The Spark), named after their newspaper published in Switzerland. Vladimir Lenin headed the Bolsheviks (majority) while George Plekhanov headed the Mensheviks (Minority). Although Lenin was not to have a majority until 1917, he refused to relinquish the name. The Mensheviks included many Jews including Julius Martov, Raphael Abramowitz(Rein), and Fyodor Ilyich Dan (Gurvich). The two groups argued over organization and tactics with the Menshevicks believing it best to cooperate with liberals and wished to have a more "open" party. In general there were more Jews in the Mensheviks which better reflected Jewish liberalism and intellectuality. The congress refused to allow the Jewish delegates to participate in the revolutionary work while remaining an independent ethnic group which lead to the Bund seceding from the Social Democratic Party.

1903 August 23 - 28, SIXTH ZIONIST CONGRESS (Basle, Switzerland)

Herzl proposed using territory offered by Britain, specifically Uganda, as a temporary shelter for Jews fleeing Eastern Europe and Russia. The Russian delegates, after a riotous debate, walked out and refused to return for the next congress unless the plan was dropped.

1903 August 26, PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION (Russia)

An abbreviated version of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion appeared in the Russian language paper Znamia (The Banner). The full version appeared two years later.

1903 September 1, GOMEL/HOMEL (Russia)

Von Plehve, the Russian Minister of the Interior who helped promote the Kishinev pogroms, instigated another pogrom. In spite of a vigorous defense, twelve Jews were killed and two hundred and fifty homes were destroyed. Thirty-six of the defenders were prosecuted, together with the perpetrators of the pogrom.

1903 October 22, LENIN AND THE JEWISH QUESTION (Russia)

In an article in the Journal Iskra (The Spark) he wrote "The Jewish question can be posed in this way only: assimilation or ghetto... The idea of a Jewish nationality contradicts the interests of the Jewish proletariat."

1904 - 1986 JACOB JAVITS (USA)

U.S. Senator. Beginning in the garment industry, he also worked as a janitor and a salesman until he was able to receive his law degree. During the Second World War, he attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Directly after the war Javits was elected to congress for eight years, and in 1956 he was elected to the senate. Javits served for 24 years and was one of the most respected senators of his day.


The Russian government accused the Jews of helping the Japanese and starting the war to help their "Kinsmen by race". Thirty thousand Jewish soldiers and 3000 Jewish doctors fought for the Russians. Two "orders of the day" recognized Jewish heroism; One on November 29 honoring Joseph Trumpeldor the other on July 25 1905 honoring Lazar Lichmaker both of whom coincidently fought without an arm

1904 - 1914 SECOND ALIYAH (Eretz Isreal)

With the fresh outbreak of mass pogroms in Eastern Europe, a second wave of immigration to Eretz Israel began. Unlike the First Aliyah, which believed in private agricultural enterprise, these formed the basis for the communal life and the foundation of the Kibbutz and Moshav movements. Approximately 35,000 new immigrants arrived bringing the population to about 90,000 before the outbreak of WWI. At the same time (between 1881 and 1914) 2.5 million Jews emigrated from Eastern Europe.

1904 January 25, HERZL MEETS POPE PIUS X

And tried to convince him to support the vision of Zionism without any success. The pope totally rejected the idea that Jerusalem will be in Jewish hands .

1904 April 22, - 1967 ROBERT OPPENHEIMER(USA)

Physicist and educator. Oppenheimer became director of the atom bomb project known as the Manhattan Project in 1943.

1904 July 14, - 1991 ISAAC BASHEVIS SINGER ( Poland-USA)

Yiddish novelist and journalist brother of I.J. Singer. Upon his immigration to the USA in 1935 he became a writer for the Forward. His first serial, The Family Moskat, gave him recognition as a respected writer. His other novels include The Magician of Lublin and The Slave. His Gimple the Fool and Other Stories and The Spinoza of Market Street showed his ability to write short stories as well. Singer won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1978, the first prize ever awarded for Yiddish Literature.

1904 July 15, VYACHESLAV VON PLEHVE (Russia)

The Russian Minister of Interior, was assassinated. Von Plehve was responsible for the Kishinev massacres in which forty-seven Jews were killed, ninety-two severely wounded or crippled, and five hundred slightly wounded. His assassin was a member of the socialist revolutionary movement which had also suffered because of his policies. Czar Nicholas was frightened into making a few concessions. Unfortunately, he did not make enough to meet public demand.

1904 August, HEHALUTZ (HeChalutz) (Pioneer movement)

A loosely formed movement that received its initial push from Menahem Ussishkin who called on Jewish youth to come settle in Eretz Israel. The movement developed at different times in different countries and included various Zionist youth movements. Joseph Trumpeldor joined the Russian movement in 1918. A year later "The 105" group (named for the 105 members) arrived from Poland. By the beginning of World War II they had a combined membership of around 100,000 people.


Slowed the number of Jews allowed to immigrate.

1905 - 1983 ARTHUR KOESTLER (Hungary-USA)

Author and journalist. Koestler studied engineering and joined the Zionist movement, even working for a short time for the Revisionist party. His book, Thieves of the Night, documents the Arab-Jewish conflict, while Promise and Fulfillment: Palestine, 1917-49 surveys the era of the Mandate and the creation of the State. Koestler flirted with communism but left the party after Stalin's purges and wrote probably his most famous work, Darkness at Noon.

1905 ALIENS ACT ( England)

Restricted immigrants without any means of support from entering England. Although unlike the USA where there was a quota system, it did reduce immigration especially Jewish. Fourteen years later stricter measures were introduced.

1905 - 1982 AYN RAND (USA)

Russian-American novelist and philosopher. She is remembered best for her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Rand believed in the basis of action being rational self-interest and that it is one's moral responsibility to find self-fulfillment, and one's most worthy activity is productive achievement.

1905 ELIEZER LIPA JOFFE (1882-1944) (Russia-USA)

Founded Ha-Ikkar HaTzair ("Young Farmer") as well as the American branch of HeHalutz. They provided agricultural training with their goals to encourage its members to move to Eretz Israel. Joffe was also one of the originators of the idea of Moshav Ovdim "workers' cooperative settlement" This was different than a kibbutz in that families had their own farms and lived in their own houses although there were cooperative purchasing and marketing. The first such settlement was Nahalal (1921). Joffe also was founder of Tnuva, the agricultural marketing cooperative (1928).

1905 - 1944 ENZO SERENI

Italian Zionist Pioneer who helped found Kibbutz Givat Brenner. During World War II he joined the British Army. He was instrumental in organizing parachute drops from the Yishuv to behind German lines. Sereni insisted that he be allowed to participate in those drops as well. He was dropped in the wrong area, captured by the Germans, and shot at Dachau. Kibbutz Netzer Sereni was named after him.


Published Essence of Judaism. In it Baeck, stressed the ethical and spiritual aspects of Judaism. (see 1873)

1905 MAXIM GORKY (1868-1936) (Russia)

A Christian author and one of the founders of Soviet literature, he wrote letters of protest against the Black Hundreds in particular and anti-Semitism in general. Leo Tolstoy, one of Russia's greatest writers, joined him in defending the Jews.


Published the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in his book Velikoe e Malom (The Great in the Small). The protocols deal with an alleged "secret" plot by the wise Jews to enslave the Christian world. In reality (as revealed by the London Times in 1921), the book was a plagiarized version of a lampoon on Napoleon by Maurice Jely published in 1864. Despite this, the book has been reprinted in almost every language. In Germany it was treated as the Gospel and British troops carried it into Eretz Israel in 1947. It was circulated in Poland (1966) and an Arab version appeared in 1967.

1905 YESHIVA OF LIDA (Lithuania)

Was established by Rabbi Jacob Reines ( see 1839), in which both secular and religious studies were taught. Reines had tried earlier (1882) to create a similar program, but had been stymied due to opposition within the orthodox community. The combination of WWI and his death in 1915, forced the close of the yeshiva . It has become the model for Yeshiva University, Bar Ilan University and most religious high schools all over the world.

1905 January 22, BLOODY SUNDAY (Russia)

Czarist guards fired into a crowd of workers, killing and wounding fifteen hundred of them. Bloody Sunday has symbolized the beginning of the end of the Russian monarchy's absolute power.


Maxim Vinaver, a renowned lawyer and one of the founders of the "Constitutional Democratic Party" (Cadets), was elected its chairman. During its two years of existence, the Society organized Jewish participation in the first and second Dumas. They forcefully condemned government complicity in the pogroms of 1905. At their last convention in 1906, there was a heavy debate between Vladimir Jabotinsky (speaking for the Zionists) and Simon Dubnow who were in favor of a Jewish national group in the Duma and Vinaver who was opposed

1905 April 24 - 25, (Easter) BIALYSTOK AND ZHITOMIR (Russia)

Were attacked by the Black Hundreds (League of the Russian People), an unofficial pro-Czarist terrorist force. This time the Jews tried to defend themselves. In Zhitomir, police prevented Jewish self-defense organizations from protecting their property. After two days, 15 Jews and one non-Jewish student who had volunteered to defend the Jews, were killed. The Governor did nothing to stop the mobs until a number of Jews broke into his office and threatened him. The hostilities ceased almost immediately.

1905 July 30, BIALYSTOK (Russia)

During the anti-Jewish riots physicians were prevented from treating the Jewish victims.


The Black Hundreds and other bands alleged that the Jews were responsible for their defeats in the Russian Japanese war and other Russian ills. In Odessa, the commander of the cadet school General Deryugin told his soldiers "Your on your way to massacre the Jews, You have my blessing for your work." In spite of many attempts at self defense, hundreds were killed, and thousands were wounded in more then fifty areas throughout Russia. In over 50 major pogroms over 40,000 homes and shops were destroyed, giving new impetus to immigration to both the West and Eretz Israel, with over 200,000 Jews leaving in one year.

1905 October 22, JAFFA (Eretz Israel)

The first Hebrew high school was opened in Jaffa. Its goal was to provide its student with both a Jewish and secular education totally in Hebrew. It was later named after Herzl and called the Gymnasia Herzliya. It moved to Tel Aviv (1909).

1905 October 30, MANIFESTO OF NICHOLAS II (October Manifesto) (RUSSIA)

Czar Nicholas II, after a nation-wide strike, issued a manifesto granting a constitution and a Duma (parliament) in which the Constitutional Democrats (Kadets) and Social Democrats would participate. The Social Democrats included both the Bolsheviks and the Mensheviks. In addition it promised to grant civil liberties including freedom of religion and freedom of speech.Another party the Octobrist's was also created and which supported a constitutional monarchy.As a party, they were often anti-Semitic and wished to ban Jews from the military, and continue enforcing the Pale.

1905 November, ZIONIST LABOR PARTY (Poale Zion) (Russia)

Was formed in Minsk in an effort to combine Zionism and Socialism. Its first leader was Ber Borochov.

1905 November 3, YOSEF HAIM BRENNER

There had been a proposal at the seventh Zionist Congress earlier that year (July) to develop cultural activities for the Jewish community in the United States. Brenner in his article entitled, "A long letter was sent to me" wrote, "Shame and disgrace (concerning) the worry about Jews in America, when 6 million are hanging by a burnt thread".


Convened the first Persian Parliament promising more rights (although not equality) for minorities. Unfortunately, the Shah died soon after and most of the reforms were never enacted.

1906 - 1963 CLIFFORD ODETS (USA)

Playwright of the Depression. He used the theater to vent his protest against social conditions. His plays included Waiting for Lefty, Awake and Sing (a compassionate depiction of American Jewry), and Golden Boy.

1906 - 1966 SAYYID QUTB

Author, radical Islamist ideologue, and a leading advocate of the Moslem Brotherhood. In his book “Our Struggle with the Jews”, he based his anti-Semitism on the foundations of the religious traditions of Islam. After plotting to assassinate Nasser, he was arrested and executed. One of his students was Ayman Zawahiri, a mentor of Osama bin Laden and a leading member of al-Qaeda.

1906 January 16, BEZALEL (Academy of Arts and Design) (Eretz Israel)

Was founded in Jerusalem by Boris Schatz (1867-1932), painter and court sculptor to King Ferdinand of Bulgaria. The school was named after the biblical artisan Bezalel, son of Uri, who was one of the main architects of the Tabernacle. It has well over 1000 students and offers degrees in art, architecture, and design.


Was formed. It was headed by Judge Mayer Sulzberger, a leader in the fight for liberal immigration laws. Its aims included the protection of civil and religious rights of Jews all over the world. Among its founders were Dr. Cyrus Adler, Louis Marshall and Jacob H. Schiff.

1906 March 9, RUSSIA

Founding of the Jewish Socialists Workers Party (a break off from Poale Zion) known as the Sejmists. It based itself on the ideology of Chaim Zhitlowsky and was comprised of liberal socialists and constitutionalists. The Sejmists were far less radical than the Bund in regard to Marxist philosophy. They believed in Jewish Autonomy in the Diaspora and considered themselves part of the international socialist movement. In 1909 it reunited with Poale Zion.

1906 July 4, BIALYSTOK (Russia)

Anti-Jewish riots. It was later revealed that the St. Petersburg police department paid for the leaflets inciting the people to riot.

1906 July 12, DREYFUS WAS ACQUITTED (France)

On all counts by the Court of Appeals. After refusing compensation, he was promoted to Major. Dreyfus competently commanded an ammunition column in World War I. He died in 1935.

1906 July 21, CZAR NICHOLAS II (Russia)

Dissolved the Duma.

1906 August, VON WASSERMAN (1866-1925) (Germany)

Instituted the Wasserman test for the diagnosis of syphilis.


Ten years after the first Zionist Congress there were approximately 80,000 Jewish inhabitants in Eretz Israel: 45,000 in Jerusalem, 8000 in Jaffa, 8000 in Safed, 2000 in Haifa, 2000 in Tiberias, and 1000 in Hebron. In addition, there were 14,000 people living in over 30 villages and underdeveloped land.

1907 LENA HIMMELSTEIN (1881-1951) (USA)

A dress designer was asked by a customer to design a maternity dress so that she would not have to remain in seclusion during her pregnancy. The success of the dress opened an entire industry to development. Lena, known by first married name, Bryant, went on to establish well over 100 Lane Bryant stores in the United States.

1907 - 1982 PIERRE MENDES-FRANCE (France)

Lawyer and politician, he was descended from a well-known Sephardic family. He joined the Radical Socialist Party in 1927 and was elected to the National Assembly. He became Prime Minister in 1954, ending the war in Indo-China. He was replaced a year later and was soundly defeated by the Gaullists in 1968. Mendes was known as the "Roosevelt of France" for his "fireside chat" manner. He was a staunch supporter of Israel and the Zionist movement.


Was founded by Rabbi Stephen Wise as a reaction to the refusal of his congregation in Oregon to allow him free rein on the pulpit. Wise was against set dues for members and believed that the synagogue should also be used to criticize social problems.


Received the Nobel prize for physics. He was the first American scientist and the first American Jew to receive the prize.

1907 STOLYPIN (Russia)

The new Minister of Interior, he convinced the Czar to establish a second Duma which had far less power. Soon afterwards Stolypin strengthened the anti-Semitic Union of the Russian People and the Black Hundreds.


Was established in Philadelphia. Dr. Cyrus Adler was appointed its first president.

1907 September 29, BAR GIORA (Eretz Israel)

A Palestinian Jewish self-defense organization was formed to protect the settlements in Sejera (the lower Galilee area) from raiders. Two years later it was reorganized and broadened into HaShomer (the Watchman) by Israel Shochat. HaShomer was eventually transformed into the Haganah. Despite opposition from local Jews and the Baron's overseers, they persevered with the idea of Jews taking responsibility for their own defense.


Published Race or Mongrel, an anti-Semitic racist book.


Granted Jews political rights.

1908 TURKISH REVOLUTION (Ottoman Empire)

The Young Turks disposed of Sultan Abdul Hamid "the Damned". The new government retained the Sultan's policies towards a Jewish Eretz Israel.


Was established. Later known as the Israel Land Development Authority (ILDC), the authority was in charge of purchasing and cultivating land for the Jewish National Fund and for private individuals. Its first Chairman was Otto Warburg and its first director Arthur Ruppin. The company was instrumental in establishing settlements such as Nahalal, Tel Yosef, Ein Harod, and the first kibbutz, Degania. Many of its purchases were in the Sharon Plain, and the Hula valley. They also played a major role in developing Tel Aviv and the Hadar Carmel section of Haifa.

1909 - 1910 POLAND

A boycott of Jewish goods was organized under the guise of nationalism.


A Jew hunt was organized (one of many) to find Jews living outside the Pale. Ten were found in the city and 74 more in the neighboring woods. All were forced back into the Pale.

1909 - 1967 BARNEY ROSS (USA)

American boxer. He was one of the few boxers to win three division championships . He was born Dov Rosofsky and his early ambition was to be a Talmudic scholar like his father. After his father was murdered, he turned away from orthodoxy and began life as a local street tough. During his career of 81 bouts he was never knocked out . Ross joined the marines and actively fought in the pacific theater, winning a silver star and presidential citation for heroism.

1909 VICTOR BRENNER (1871-1924)(Lithuania-USA)

Medalist and sculptor, he engraved the Lincoln penny still used today.

1909 April 4, HASHOMER (Eretz Israel)

The Association of Jewish watchmen was founded in order to protect Jewish settlements. Many of its members were recent arrivals from Russia who had organized self-defense organizations in Russia during the pogroms five years earlier. Its founders included Itzhak ben Zvi, Israel Giladi, Israel Shochat and Alexander Zeid. The Shomerim were excellent horsemen. spoke Arabic and wore a combination of Arab and Circassian garb. Within a few years they took over the defense of all Jewish villages. HaShomer was active until 1920 when it was absorbed into the Haganah.

1909 April 11, TEL AVIV (Eretz Israel)

The first modern Jewish city, it was founded on the sand dunes north of Jaffa with the building of 60 houses. The actual name "Tel Aviv" was given only the next year (Hill of Spring) and was taken from a Babylonian city (Ezekiel 3:15) and used by Nahum Sokolow as the title for his translation of Herzl's book Altneuland.


Clarinetist and band leader. Goodman grew up in the Chicago ghetto, one of twelve children of an immigrant tailor who had fled anti-Semitism in Russia. He took his first lessons on the clarinet in his local synagogue. Goodman's band took off on August 23, 1935 when he played compositions arranged by Fletcher Henderson giving birth to a new style of jazz music - "swing." Goodman became known as the "King of Swing" and was the first to include black and white musicians in the same band. Goodman was one of the most recorded artists in history playing both jazz and classical music.

1909 June 6, - 1997 SIR ISAIAH BERLIN (Latvia-England)

Liberal philosopher and political scientist. Berlin was the first Jewish Fellow of All Souls College and the first to be appointed president of the British Academy. Among his well known works are Karl Marx, The Hedgehog and the Fox, Two Concepts of Liberty, and The Life and Opinions of Moses Hess. Berlin was a strong supporter of Zionism and a friend of Chaim Weizmann. He received the Jerusalem Prize in 1978.

1909 December, DEGANIA (Eretz Israel)

The first kibbutz or collective colony was founded in Eretz Israel. Aaron David Gordon (1856-1922), one of its founders, was considered to be the "Apostle" of the kibbutz movement. Each colony was independent and democratically governed. Membership was voluntary and all earnings and expenses were shared.

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