On this day

On this day: Barbie’s first appearance

By Jennifer Lipman, March 9, 2011

Love her for her perfect smile or loathe her for her impossibly tiny waist, did you know Barbra Millicent Roberts had Jewish roots?

The doll was created by Ruth Handler, a Colorado-born Jewish woman whose parents were Polish immigrants.


On this day: Golda Meir voted in

By Jennifer Lipman, March 7, 2011

After Levi Eshkol’s sudden death from a heart attack, the party chose the then 70-yearold to replace him. In doing so, the woman born Golda Mabovitch in Kiev became the first female leader in Israel and a pioneering figure for the world.

She said on being chosen: "I have faced difficult problems in the past but nothing like the one I'm faced with now in leading the country."


On this day: Palestinian gunmen kill nine Israelis

By Jennifer Lipman, March 3, 2011

In one of the grimmer incidents of the intifada, a Palestinian gunman ambushed a group of Israeli servicemen and shot dead seven of them.

A further three Israeli civilians were killed in the terrorist attack, which took place at an army checkpoint in the Jewish settlement of Ofra.


On this day: Morocco declares independence

By Jennifer Lipman, March 2, 2011

The first of France’s Maghrebi protectorates to throw of its colonial master, Morocco did not share the radical upheaval or violence of neighbouring Algeria in its struggle for independence.


On this day: Zero Mostel is born

By Jennifer Lipman, February 28, 2011

The Broadway comedian was born Sam Joel in Brooklyn to Orthodox parents and spent his childhood learning at a yeshiva school, but chose to enter showbiz and change his name to Zero rather than follow in the family footsteps.


On this day: The Passion of the Christ opens

By Jennifer Lipman, February 25, 2011

At first description – religious story, told in Aramaic and Latin, more than two-hours long - The Passion of the Christ doesn’t sound too appealing.


On this day: Oscars for the Coen Brothers

By Jennifer Lipman, February 24, 2011

The American film duo look set to pick up some more trophies to add to their not-too-small collection at this year’s Oscars on Sunday.


On this day: Bin Laden declares jihad

By Jennifer Lipman, February 22, 2011

Long before the September 11 attacks on the United States, Osama bin Laden had made himself known as a terror threat. In 1996 he declared that Muslims should raise jihad against the west, and two years later he outlined his belief that killing “Jews and crusaders” was an "individual duty for every Muslim".


On this day: The United Arab Republic

By Jennifer Lipman, February 22, 2011

The pan-Arab dream, which saw old rivals Egypt and Syria join forces, only lasted three years. It collapsed in 1961 when Syria abandoned it, although Egypt retained the title for another decade.

The United Arab Republic (UAR) partnership came about for many reasons, not least to limit the influence of communist-leaning politicians in Syria.

With support from North Yemen and elsewhere, for a time it appeared the union could be the start of a new Middle East.


On this day: Joseph Gordon Levitt is born

By Jennifer Lipman, February 17, 2011

After making his film debut in the dog comedy Beethoven, Joseph Leonard Gordon Levitt shot to television fame with a role in the alien comedy 3rd Rock from the Sun.

A graduate of Columbia University, he was born in Los Angeles to a radio presenter father and political activist mother. In 1999 he starred opposite Heath Ledger in the Shakespeare-inspired teen comedy Ten Things I Hate About You.