Top Officer Stella Levy Dies

July 19

July 19, 1999 Stella Levy, who commanded the Women’s Corps of the Israel Defense Forces in the 1960s and briefly served in the Knesset, dies. She was born in French Mandatory Syria in 1924 and made aliyah to Haifa in 1929. She was active in the Haganah during high school, and she enlisted in the […]

Songwriter Meir Ariel Dies

July 18

July 18, 1999 Singer-songwriter Meir Ariel, 57, known as the “Man of Words” for his poetic Hebrew lyrics, dies of Mediterranean spotted fever transmitted by a tick. He is buried at Kibbutz Mishmarot, where he grew up. He wrote hundreds of recorded songs, many of which became modern Israel classics when performed by the likes […]

Kibbutz Pioneer Yitzchak Ben-Aharon Is Born

July 17

July 17, 1906 Yitzchak Ben-Aharon, a pioneer of the kibbutz movement, is born Yitzhak Nussboim in Bukovina, Romania, in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He joins several Zionist organizations as a teenager, then walks and rides a donkey to travel to Palestine in 1928. He helps found Kibbutz Givat Haim between Haifa and Tel Aviv and lives […]

Violinist Pinchas Zukerman Is Born

July 16

July 16, 1948 Classical musician and conductor Pinchas Zukerman is born in Tel Aviv. At 4, he begins playing the recorder, then the clarinet, and by 8 he is playing the violin and studying at the Tel Aviv Academy of Music. American violinist Isaac Stern sponsors Zukerman to study at the Juilliard School in New […]

Rabin Warns Against Jordan Diversion

July 15

July 15, 1965 In a speech to a graduating class of Israel Defense Forces officers, IDF Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin addresses ongoing Arab efforts to divert the sources of the Jordan River. Syria hasn’t given up on its diversion plans despite two successful Israeli strikes on its project, Rabin says, and “a second country” […]

Coup Ousts Iraqi King

July 14

July 14, 1958 Iraqi army officers stage a coup and overthrow and kill King Faisal. Also killed is Iraq’s crown prince, whose body is left hanging outside the Defense Ministry. Iraqis celebrate, but Western powers worry about oil interests and possible instability in the region, including Lebanon and Jordan. King Hussein of Jordan, Faisal’s cousin, […]

Ehud Manor Is Born

July 13

July 13, 1941 Singer, songwriter and media personality Ehud Manor is born to Russian immigrant parents in Binyamina. A graduate of the University of Cambridge, Manor composes about 1,200 songs and translates 600 others into Hebrew. He also translates many Broadway musicals, including “Hair,” “Les Miserables” and “Chicago,” and such Shakespearean plays as “Romeo and […]

Second Lebanon War Begins

July 12

July 12, 2006 The Second Lebanon War begins when Hezbollah launches Katyusha rockets and mortars at Israeli border towns and Israel Defense Forces positions, a diversion for a raid across the border to ambush an IDF patrol. What Hezbollah calls Operation Truthful Promise kills three Israeli soldiers and abducts two others, Eldad Regev and Ehud […]

Jericho Earthquake Kills 300-Plus

July 11

July 11, 1927 A major earthquake strikes Jericho just after 3 p.m., killing between 300 and 500 people and injuring at least 700 others. Measured at a magnitude of 6.3, the quake lasts about five seconds. The epicenter is initially believed to be close to Jericho, and it is known as the Jericho earthquake of […]

Yiddish Writer Sholem Asch Dies

July 10

July 10, 1957 Yiddish novelist and playwright Sholem Asch dies at age 76 in London. Asch was born in Kutno in Russian-controlled Poland in 1880 as the youngest of 10 children in a Hasidic family. He received a formal Jewish education until he became interested in secular studies and moved to Wloclawek, where he wrote […]

Wadi Salib Riots Begin

July 9

July 9, 1959 Riots break out in the impoverished Haifa neighborhood of Wadi Salib after police officers shoot resident Yaakov Elkarif during an attempt to arrest him for being drunk and disorderly. Witnesses dispute whether Elkarif provokes the police, but people surround the police vehicle and drag out an officer before shots are fired into […]

Judo Champ Yarden Gerbi Is Born

July 8

July 8, 1989 Israeli judo champion Yarden Gerbi is born in Kfar Saba. Her success in national and international competitions includes a bronze medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. At age 6, Gerbi begins training under Shani Hersko, a former coach of the national women’s judo team. Hersko remains Gerbi’s trainer […]