On this day

On this day: Barry Manilow is born

By Anna Slater, June 17, 2011

Growing up with a tough upbringing, music was Manilow's only solace. At the age of seven he learned to play the accordion and the piano, and after sampling a taste of the music world, he decided he wanted to be in it. By the year of his barmitzvah he was singing.


On this day: Erich Segal was born

By Anna Slater, June 16, 2011

Coming from two generations of rabbis, Erich Segal was expected to attend yeshiva and follow in the footsteps of his father and grandfather.

But desperate to pursue a career in writing, he struck a deal with his father as a teenager. He would be allowed to attend a mainstream school, as long as he agreed to spend his evenings studying the Bible at the local Jewish Theological Seminary.


On this day: Ezer Weizman is born

By Anna Slater, June 15, 2011

The legend who made his name as one of Israel's most celebrated fighting men and went on to become president of Israel was born in Tel Aviv. Unpredictable, quixotic and cantankerous were just some of the words the press used to describe him over the years. However, he was well-known for playing the roles of military hero and an architect of peace.


On this day: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is reelected

By Jennifer Lipman, June 13, 2011

At the time a seemingly isolated instance of a Middle Eastern population rebelling against autocracy, the Green revolution was in some ways a harbinger of things to come.

But while the Arab Spring demonstrations saw the citizens of Egypt and Tunisia overthrow their leaders in pursuit of democracy, the same was not true of the Persian protests.


On this day: Attack at the Holocaust Museum

By Jennifer Lipman, June 10, 2011

It was supposed to be an ordinary day of work for Stephen Johns, a 39-year-old security guard at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC.

But in a tragedy that shocked the nation, Mr Johns, who was later described by colleagues as "a soft-spoken, gentle giant", was shot dead that afternoon by an octogenarian with ties to white supremacist groups.


On this day: The Osirak Nuclear Reactor strike

By Jennifer Lipman, June 7, 2011

It was late on Sunday afternoon when 16 Israeli fighter jets swept into Iraq to make a covert strike on a nuclear facility 18 miles outside of Baghdad.

The Osirak reactor, which was being constructed by French workers, was destroyed in the hit and the Israeli planes flew home unharmed. It came after diplomatic efforts to prevail on France to stop supporting the project failed.


On this day: Shlomo Argov is shot

By Jennifer Lipman, June 3, 2011

The Israeli ambassador to the UK, Shlomo Argov, was walking out of the Dorchester Hotel in Mayfair, when he was shot in the head at point-blank range by three attackers.

He survived the attack, barely, and underwent emergency brain surgery. The attack left him paralysed in his early 50s, except for some movement in his head.


On this day: Josef Mengele’s body is found

By Jennifer Lipman, June 2, 2011

Four decades after the end of the Holocaust, the search for one of its most notorious war criminals continued. Known as the "angel of death", Josef Mengele spent the war performing inhumane and brutal "experiments" on prisoners in Auschwitz concentration camp, twins in particular.


On this day: the Farhud pogrom

By Jennifer Lipman, May 27, 2011

At the same time as European Jews were being marched off to the concentration camps, the historic community of Baghdad was suffering at the hands of a pro-Hitler regime.


On this day: Sydney Pollack dies

By Jennifer Lipman, May 26, 2011

Born in Indiana in 1934, Sydney Pollack's career saw him embrace life as an actor, director, producer and a Torah student, not to mention a stint in the US army in the 1950s.

When he died at the age of 73, he was still critically lauded – the last film he produced was The Reader, for which he won a posthumous Best Picture Oscar,