✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Wilbur J. Cohen!
Wilbur Joseph Cohen was one of the key figures in the United States that is responsible for the social services that many Americans rely on today. He was one of the key authors of the Medicare, Medicaid, the New Deal and Great Society programs, which shifted US society and culture towards supporting those in need.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Rashida Jones!
Rashida Leah Jones is an actor, writer and producer. Jones has a long filmography that includes hit TV shows such as Boston Public, the Office, Parks and Rec, Angie Tribecca, and #blackAF as well as films including The Social Network, The Muppets (2011). She also co-wrote Toy Story 4
She produced the Netflix documentary "Quincy," about her father. This series won an Emmy for Best Musical Film.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Paul Berg!
Paul Berg was a biologist whose experiments helped shape our understanding of DNA, specifically recombinant-DNA- the ability to split DNA and analyse it in parts.
Berg's postdoctoral work was around the conversion of food into simpler molecules used to build up cells. Later, he became the first scientist to splice DNA.
His work in gene splicing is foundational in our ability to do DNA research today, and provided early foundational work for gene therapies, which are now being used to treat some illnesses.
For his achievement in DNA, Berg won several prestigious awards and acknowledgements, including one half the Nobel Prize in 1980, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a position at the American Philosophical Society, and others.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Rollie Hochstein!
Rolaine Abrahams Hochstein was a writer.
Hochstein began her literary career doing copywriting, but quickly moved onto writing. She wrote freelance articles for many publications, including Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, Ms. Magazine, the Washington Post, the L.A. Times, and the Toronto Star.
In addition, through her work on Seventeen Magazine, she worked with a psychologist to write The Seventeen Guide to Knowing Yourself and The Seventeen Guide to You and Other People, books to help young women understand themselves and their relationships with the world.
She also wrote fiction, including two novels, Stepping Out and Table 47, as well as 40 short stories.
Her work was recognized in an O. Henry Prize collection, and a Pushcart Prize anthology.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Lesley Stahl!
Lesley Rene Stahl is journalist. She's best known for her work on the television program 60 Minutes, where she's been working since 1991.
Stahl began her journalism career joining a local CBS (Columbia Broadcasting System) station in the Boston region in 1971. From there she worked as an on air reporter, and eventually moved to national coverage.
In the early 1980s, she began working the US political beat, hosting the public affairs program Face the Nation, and moderating US political debates, before moving to 60 Minutes.
On 60 Minutes, she largely does interviews, including politicians, business-people, controversial newsmakers, and more. She is known for a frank, hard hitting style while still keeping her interviewee at ease.
At age 81 she is still working at 60 Minutes and has no immediate plans to retire.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Jordan Mechner!
Jordan Mechner is a video game developer and filmmaker. His best known work is Prince of Persia.
While attending university, Mechner spent two years writing and developing the game Karateka for the Apple II. Karateka was notable for being both a side scroller and fighting game. It featured fluid character motion and was a success.
Mechner's nexr game, Prince of Persia built on Karateka by making all the action of his character fluid, giving the game a cinematic quality. It also featured a complex storyline, and puzzles- all of which are staples of the action adventure genre today, but novel at the time.
Mechner has since worked to revive Prince as a series, and kept the franchise alive through comics and film adaptations.
He also published his game personal diary development journal of his time developing the game.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Marilyn Monroe!
Marilyn Monroe was an actress, a model, and a singer. She was known as one of the most iconic figures in Hollywood and is considered a sex symbol, both then and today. In addition to her many acting roles, Monroe is known for her business saavy, having eshewed the Hollywood studio monopoly system by creating her own film production company, which not only gave her contract leverage, but signaled to other actors at the time that they have greater power and control in their own contracts.
Monroe's filmography has many notable roles, including Clash By Night, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, How to Marry a Millionaire, and Some Like It Hot.
Monroe was also a Zionist who had been invited to speak at the United Jewish Appeal, but had to decline after her husband was pressured by the government for possible ties to Communism.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Marvin Minsky!
Marvin Minsky was one of the most important people in the area of computer sceince, and especially AI. It's diffcicult to summarize just how critical Minksy was other than to say he invented head mounted graphical displays (VR Headsets), he built first neural network using special hardware called "perceptrons", which is important not only for AI, but specifically visual AI used in applications such as self-driving cars, as well as the field of analog computing. His AI theory, called "The Society of Mind", is not only useful in exploring concepts of AI, but of all cognitive processes.
Much of Minsky's career was at MIT, where he worked for 58 years. Aside from his work in AI, Minsky is one of the founders of the MIT Media Lab, which itself has contributed to many new advances in human-computer interactions.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Neil Sedaka!
Neil Sedaka is famous singer and musician. He has written, or co-written over 500 songs. His most successful decades were the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, though he's continues to write and perform to this day, including online mini-concerts during the COVID lockdown.
He has had many hits in his career, including Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen, Breaking Up is Hard To Do, Love Will Keep Us Together, Love in the Shadows, Crying My Heart Out for You, and Oh! Carol.
Mr. Sedeka has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, is in the Songwriters Hall of Game, as well as lesser known honors such as being in the Long Island Music Hall andan Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award.
His website is https://neilsedaka.com
Fun Fact: Neil's mother was Ashkenazi of Russian and Polish heritage and his father was Sephardi with his own parents being from Turkey.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Uri Gavriel!
Uri Gavriel is a theatre and film actor known primarily, though not exclusively for his work in Israel in dramatic roles.
Gavriel's has appeared in 32 films and 28 television series, including The Band's Visit, Byzantium, Shavua ve Yom, The Dark Knight Rises, One Week and a Day, The Attack and The Ballad of the Weeping Spring.
In 2005 he won an Ophir Award (Israel's Academy Awards) and Karlovy Vary International Film Festival as Best Actor for What a Wonderful Place.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Milton Bearle!
Milton Bearle was a comedian and master of nearly every entertainment medium. He was known by many as "Mr Television".
Starting at age 5, Bearle worked as a clothing model, then in silent films. At age 12, he moved to films, including on Broadway and in Vaudeville. At 26, he began working on the radio, as well as performing live comedy.
At age 40, he began working on the new medium of television as host of Texaco Star Theatre. Following his work on television, he worked on many films and small television roles.
Bearle was awarded an Emmy for Most Outstanding Kinescoped Personality in 1950, as well as a special Emmy "Mr. Television."
He also has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Michael Solomonov!
Michael Solomonov is an American/Israeli chef known for bringing Israeli cuisine to American audiences.
Solomonov moved between Israel and the US, but after his brother David was killed defending the Israel/Lebanon border, Solomon decided to shift his focus to Israeli cuisine and opened up Zahav in Philadelphia in 2008.
Since then, he and Zahav have been a huge success and he's been featured in multiple articles and TV specials on Israeli cuisine in the United States.
Solomonov has won multiple awards from the James Beard Foundation, including Best Chef in 2011, Best Cookbook in 2016, Outstanding Chef in 2017, and Outstanding Restaurant in 2019.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Susan Solomon!
Susan Solomon is a climate scientist notable for being the first scientist to identify chlorofluorocarbons as a major contributor to the hole in the ozone layer. During the 1980s, Solomon's research and expeditions showed elevated levels of chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere, and the mechanism by which they could be degrading the Ozone layer, an atmospheric barrier that protects the earth from solar radiation.
Her work directly lead to the UN Montreal Protocols, a plan to save the atmosphere through reduction in harmful chemical generation. This has largely been a success and the ozone layer is healing.
Solomon's work has been recognized as crucial by many institutions and she's been granted awards by including the National Metal of Science, the French Metal of Science, the UK Royal Society, the National Women's Hall of Fame, and Time Magazine, amongst others.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Elena Kagan!
Elena Kagan is a US Supreme Court judge. Kagan achieved many firsts in her career, starting with her childhood where she negotiated with her rabbi to perform his/the congregation's first bat mitzvah where she read from the Book of Ruth, rather than the Torah.
In the mid-90s, Kegan worked with the Clinton White House in various capacities, from White House Council, to Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy.
Kegan went back to academia and eventually became the first dean of Harvard Law, where she was known for many pro-student reforms.
In 2009 she was appointed as the first Solicitor General of the US by the Obama administration, and in 2010 she was appointed to the US Supreme court, where she sits today.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Jonathan Mann!
Dr Jonathan Mann was a public health physician and human rights advocate.
After graduating from Harvard School of Public Health he served the :united_states: Centers for Disease Control and led AIDS research in Zaire. From 1986, as founding head of WHO's Global Programme on AIDS he became an adamant champion of human rights, recognising that respect for vulnerable communities is central to health and that coercive disease control measures can be counterproductive and unjustifiable. But his disruptive style led to conflict with WHO management and he returned to Harvard, becoming Francois-Xavier Bagnoud Professor of Health and Human Rights in 1993.
He continued work on links between health and human rights until he died alongside his second wife, vaccinologist Mary-Lou Clements Mann, in the 1998 Swissair flight 111 crash while en route to Geneva to meet the new head of WHO.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Leon L. Lewis!
Leon Lawrence Lewis was a lawyer, Nazi hunter, and activist for American Jews. Nazis called him "the most dangerous Jew in Los Angeles."
After graduating law school, Lewis accepted the position as the first national secretary of the Anti-Defmation League where he worked to prosecute hate crimes against Jews before enlisting in WW1. After the war, Lewis continued to fight antisemitism. Eventually he moved to Los Angeles and founded what would later be called the Jewish Federation Council of Greater Los Angeles, Community Relations Committee, where he launched a major spy ring to identify Nazi activities, starting in the late 1920s. He continued this work for the next twenty years. His work was directly responsible for thwarting Nazi plots and bringing Nazis to justice.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is René Cassin!
René Cassin was a French lawyer known for his co-authoring the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Cassin was a soldier in WW1, where he was awarded the Croix de Guerre. After the war, he helped found and run several organizations, including the French Federation of Disabled War Veterans, and Union fédérale, a pacifist veteran organization. He was eventually sent by France as a delegate to the League of Nations where he advocated for disarmament.
During WW2, he encouraged Jews to fight the the Vichy government and work to free France. Shortly after, they stripped him of his citizenship and sentenced him to death in absentia. After the war, he worked on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as the UN Human Rights Commission, the European Court of Human Rights, and the Hague Court of Arbitration.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1968.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Joey Ramone!
Jeffrey Ross Hyman, better known by his stage name Joey Ramone, was a musician best known for his band The Ramones. While the Ramones were a relatively unknown band outside of the small proto-punk scene in the New York area, the band had a signficant cultural influence.
The Ramones is considered by many to be the first punk band, and while the band did not have much commercial or critical recognition while they were active, they've posthumously been critically recognized as one of the most important rock bands.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Shabtai Shavit!
Shabtai Shavit is was an Israeli intelligence officer, a CEO, and special forces officer. He played an important role in Israel's diplomacy and direction in the post-Cold War era.
Shavati was born in Mandatory Palestine and lived through the creation of Israel. After his military service and university, he joined the Mossad and took on several roles, including working undercover in Iran during the era of the last Shah.
In 1989 he was was appointed head of the Mossad. This was a difficult time for Israel as world was undergoing change due to the fall of the Soviet Union. He also had a partial diplomatic role in the normalized relations between Israel and Jordan, a peace that was almost unthinkable at the time, and during Israel after Prime Minister Rabin's assassination.
After the Mossad, Shavit ran several large organizations, including his role as CEO of Maccabi Health Services Group.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Sarah Aroeste!
Sarah Aroeste is a musician. Aroeste's work primily focuses on feminist and Sephardi themes.
In the 1990s, Aroeste created a Ladino band in response to the rise of Ashkenazi klezmere.
Her early work was largely re-recordings and updates of traditional Sephardi music. Her later work has become more creative and intellectual, with albumns focusing on specific themes, for example in her album Gracia, the focus is on experiences of cultural theft and liberation and her album Ora de Despertar is an original albumn of Ladino children's music.
In addition to music, Aroeste has published three books. Ora de Despertar - Time to Wake Up! is a children's book introducing them to Ladino culture, Buen Shabat, Shabbat Shalom, about Sephardi shabbat, and Mazal Bueno!, an infant book introducing children to Ladino words.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Ynon Kreiz!
Ynon Kreiz is a businessman, and the current CEO of Mattel!
As CEO of Mattel, Kreitz is in large part responsible of the shift of the company from a toy company to a toy and media company, as illustrated with the recent Barbie movie. He's also focused on social responsibility at Mattel, including using 100% recycled plastic in the products, reducing plastic waste by reducing packaging by 25%, and maintaining 100% pay equity.
Before Mattel, Kreitz worked on a series of companies, primarily in media, including Fox Kids Europe with Haim Saban (https://babka.social/@jewoftheday/110791922048713935), Endemol, and Maker Studios.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Sarah Hughes!
Sarah Elizabeth Hughes is a former Olympic figure skater. Starting to skate at age three, at age twelve, she won the junior title at the 1998 US Figure Skating Championships. She's since won many competitions, including and especially her gold metal at the 2002 Olympics, as well as many bronze metals in various competitions. Before her win in 2002, she was featured on the cover of Time Magazine.
Since her ice skating career, Hughes has focused on her education, graduating from college, and in 2018, from law school at the University of Pennsylvania and more recently, a business degree from Stanford University.
In 2023, she filed paperwork to run for Congress in New York's 4th congressional district, which covers a large portion Nassau County.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Sidney Lumet!
Sidney Arthur Lumet was an actor and filmmaker. Lumet is best known for his work portraying gritty, realistic depictions of life, especially life in New York City. He directed over 70 films including 12 Angry Men, Serpico, Prince of the City, The Fugative Kind, A View from the Bridge, Murder on the Orient Express, and others.
Lumet's psychodrama projects often explored morality, guilt and innocence, as well as collective responsibility. Critics of the time and later noted that these themed, and the subjects that Lumet explored were filtered through a Jewish lens.
Lumet won six academy awards, eleven BAFTA awards, and ten Golden Globe Awards
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is David Dubinsky!
David Isaac Dubinsky was a labor leader and politician who founded the Congress of International Organizations (CIO), and took part in the formation of the American Labor Party as well as the Liberal Party of New York.
In 1906, Dubinsky escaped a Siberian prison sentence for labor activities in Russia and escaped to New York City.
When in NYC, he eventually became a garment worker and joined the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU). He became the local chapter president a year later, and rose in the ranks to leadership within the decade.
He went on to co-found the CIO and his involvement with the ILGWU and the CIO lead to the AFL-CIO.
Dubinsky formed the American Labor Party, which served as a party to provide a voice to disenfranchised Democrats who wanted to use their collective voice to shape Democratic politics.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Jeremy Moss!
Jeremy Moss is an American politican from the state of Michigan who has broken many barriers in his political career. In 2011, Moss was elected to City Council, making him the youngest person to do so in Southfield, Michigan history. There he not only served as a city councel member, but chaired several important committies, including the Urban Affairs Committee, and advocated for the creation of a new committee, the Economic Development Committee.
In 2015, he became elected to the Michigan House of Representatives, and in 2019, he was elected to the Michigan Senate, making him the first openly gay man to be elected to the Michigan Senate. Today he serves the Michigan Senate as President pro tempore.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Bea Arthur!
Bea Arthur was stage and television actor. She is best known for her work on the television where she played Maude Findlay on Maude and All In The Family, and on the Golden Girls and The Golden Palace, where she played Dorothy Zbornak.
Before and after Made/Golden Girls, Arthur performed on stage in various shows, including her one woman show Just Between Friends and in small television roles, such as on Futurama as the Femputer, and on the Star Wars Holiday Special as Ackmena.
Arthur embraced several causes in her life, primarily around children, as well as embracing the LGBTQ+ movement which had supported her/her work during her career first on Maude, then Golden Girls. Her will left an endowment to both the Ali Forney Center and the American Indian College Fund. The Ali Forney Center has a facility named in her honor.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Yehuda Amichai!
Yehuda Amichai was a groundbreaking Israeli poet. His work is considered some of the finest modern Hebrew poetry, not only because of his use of words and meaning, but because the subject matter is both mundane and spiritual at the same time.
Much of Amichai's work deals with his struggles reconciling the past including being a Holocaust survivor, of childhood friends lost, of his role as a soldier in Israel's independence, and his role in the IDF during the subsequent wars that threatened its existence. Amichai's work has been translated into 40 languages and given many awards, notably the Israel Prize in 1982.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Ber Borochov!
Dov Ber Borochov (ов-Бер Борохов) was an influential thinker and Marxist activist who founded the Labor Zionist movement. Borochov was a member of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party but was expelled when he formed a Zionist Socialist Workers Union.
After being arrested by the Russian authorities, he left Russia for the United States, where he founded the Poale Zion, partially as a reaction to the Bund rejecting Zionism for Doikayt. The Poale Zion movment focused on Socialist Zionism, which was a pro-Zionist, pro-Marxist or Communist belief system, and were associated with the Kibbutz movement, as well as the Hashomer, the Zionist guard movement that later became the core of the IDF.
While Borochov died early at age 36, his writing and political activism were highly influential to the larger political movements of the time.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Joan Rivers!
Joan Alexandra Molinsky, better known as Joan Rivers, was a comedian, actor, writer, and television star. She's considered one of the pioneers of women in comedy, breaking gender barrers with her extreme and biting wit.
In her career spanning over fifty years, she was the first female host of a late night talk show, hosted two talk shows of her own. Rivers won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show host. She also created and hoted Fashion Police, as well as Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?.
Rivers also wrote twelve best selling books, She won a Grammy Award for her comedy album What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most? and was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked her the #6 comedian of all time.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Candice Night!
Candice Night is a songwriter, musician, and singer. Though she's had a long career, Night is best known for her work with the band Blackmore's Night.
Night began working at age twelve as a model, then as a rock music host on a local radio station. It was through her rock music connections that she met her future husband Ritchie Blackmore, then of the band Rainbow. She later sand backup vocals for Rainbow.
When Blackmore began his next project, he did so with Night as his musical partner. Blackmoore's Night is a neo-medieval rock band that has received notoriety and acclaim Of their eleven studio albums, at least one has gone gold, and others have charted in their respective categories.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Jack Kirby!
Jack Kirby was a comic book writer, artist, and editor. He was one of the most influential artists in comics, influencing their style and content to this day. After working in comic strips, his collaboration with Joe Simon eventually lead to a multi-decade collaboration. Kirby and Simon bounced around from DC to what would eventually become Marvel Comics and in this time created or developed core stories for many characters that are household names today.
Kirby was central in moving comic book characters from one dimensional comics to full, complex stories of personal turmoil.
His creations or co-creations include Captain America, Sandman, Manhunter, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man, Iron Man, the Avengers, the Silver Surfer, the X-Men, Black Panther, DC's New Gods, and many other comic staples of today.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Carol Kaye!
Carol Kayne is one of the most prolific bass guitarists of all time, appearing on roughly 10,000 recordings over her career. As a studio musician, she was rarely given acclaim for her talents outside of the music industry, but to her contemporaries, she and her work are well known and recognized.
Kaye's work has included the Beach Boys's Pet Sounds album, Frank Zappa's Freak Out, I am a Rock by Simon & Garfunkel, La Bamba by Ritchie Valens, Unchained Melody by The Righteous Brothers, the Hawaii Five-O Theme, and many others.
Rolling Stone ranked Kaye number five bass guitarists of all time.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Boris Volynov!
Boris Valentinovich Volynov (Бори́с Валенти́нович Волы́нов) is a Soviet cosmonaut who flew two harrowing missions and is considered the first Jew in space.
Volnov trained to be on the Voskhod 1 mission, the seventh manned Soviet flight mission, as well as the Voskhod, but was bumped from the crew roster of both, very likely due to his being Jewish. He did fly on Soyuz 5, but both this and the Soyuz 21 mission suffered muliple mission problems, including mechanical failures and resulted in hard landings, the first of which broke several of Volynov's teeth.
Despite his career being held back for being Jewish, Volynov has been heavily awarded, including two Orders of Lenin, two Hero of the Soviet Union awards, an Order of the Red Star, an Order of Friendship, an "Order For Merit to the Fatherland 4th class", as well as others.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Naomi Shemer!
Naomi Shemer was an Israeli songwriter and musician who was credited as the "first lady of Israeli song and poetry". Shemer translated poetry into Hebrew and set some poems to music, which she did with her own arrangement, and often her own voice. Her best known songs are The Eucalyptus Grove (חורשת האקליפטו) and Jerusalem of Gold (רושלים של זהב).
Jerusalem of Gold (רושלים של זהב) is considered an unofficial national anthem of Israel and was written while Jews were still not allowed to enter the Old City. It was amended after 1967, when Israel took the city.
In 1983, Shemer won the Israel Prize for Jerusalem of Gold. Near death, she revealed to a friend that she had lifted the melody from another song which was later revealed to be Pello Joxepe by Paco Ibáñez. Ibáñez is quoted as saying that Shemer had no reason to feel shame about lifting the melody.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is H. Jon Benjamin!
Harry Jon Benjamin is an actor, comedian, and producer. He has an extensive catalog of roles over his over thirty year long career, but he's best known for his cartoon voice acting work. Notably he is the voice of Bob Belcher, from Bob's Burgers, the voice of Sterling Archer from Archer, Benjamin Katz in Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist, and several voices in Home Movies. In addition to these starring roles, he has had many smaller or cameo roles in various television and film projects, including Wet Hot American Summer, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, as well as having his own short lived comedy show Jon Benjamin has a Van.
More information about Benjamin's life can be found in his 2018 autobiography: Failure is an Option: An Attempted Memoir.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Anthony Bourdain!
Anthony Bordain was a celebrity chef, author, and television star. While we has an award winning chef, he's best known for his various travel shows where he focused on local cuisine. Bordain was the executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in Manhattan and then released his now best selling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly where he revealed the real life practices of the restaurant industry.
This book catapulted Bourdain into stardom His books, and his television shows were unique in how personal they were and how much Bourdain himself played a central role in them. In his travel programs, especially the later programs, focused as much on how Bourdain himself related to the food and experience, which many audiences found compelling and relatable.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Yoshua Bengio!
Yoshua Bengio is a Turing Award-winning machine learning researcher. He was born to Moroccan Jews in France who then all later moved to Montreal. Bengio founded the MILA institute for machine learning research, helping to turn Montreal and Canada by extension into the major center for artificial intelligence research it is today.
Bengio and his students have invented many of the core algorithms that define the field of deep learning today. Whether it be autoencoders, word embeddings, encoder-decoder models, attention models, generative adverserial models, and many more.
(thank you @raf for this guest entry)
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is John McCarthy!
John McCarthy was a computer scientist, the creator of the Lisp family of languages, and one of the founders of artificial intelligence. McCarthy's contributions to computer science are vast and include fundamental ideas around how we use computers today. In the late 1950s, his discoveries around recursion, symbolic computing and lambda calculus lead to the LISP, as well as logic programming.
While working on Lisp, he pioneered the invention of automatic memory management and garbage collection, and later pioneered time-sharing- which is fundamental to multitasking. He helped found the MIT "Project MAC" as well as the Standford AI Lab.
McCarthy won many awards in his life, including the Turing Award, the Kyoto Prize, the National Medal of Science, and the Benjamin Franklin Metal.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Rosalind Franklin!
Rosalind Elsie Franklin was a chemist and X-ray crystallographer whose pioneering work paved the way for many huge scientific advances, specifically around DNA, of which she is considered by many to be an unsung hero, outlining the composition and basic structure of the DNA structure before Watson and Crick.
Franklin's early work was on using X-ray and displacement to determine the porousness of coal, which was of critical importance during WW2, as it determine coal's applicability as both a fuel source and as a possible filter in gas masks, etc.
After the war, she went on to work on biology, where she studied the structure of RNA viruses.
Her she made multiple discoveries, including that of protein molecules arranged in a helix. She even presented her findings at a lecture where Watson attended, but he did not recognize her findings.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Sivan Yaari!
Sivan Yaari is the founder of Innovation: Africa, a non-profit that brings sustainable technological innovations to rural African villages. Her organization has completed over 900 projects, which include solar energy to power schools and hospitals, solar powered water filters and pumps that have brought clean water to over four million people, and drip irrigation systems to allow villages to be be more sustainable and financially independent. Her non-profit also has a unique funding model that optimizes donation impact.
Yaari was awarded the Light of Israel Award, "Inspiring Israeli this Decade" by Grapevine, and “50 Most Influential Women in Israel” by Forbes, as well as other accolates. She was selected to light one of the twelve torches at Israel's 75th Independence Day.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Paula Abdul!
Paula Abdul is a choreographer and musician well known for very long career in the music industry. She is the child of a Syrian and Canadian Jew. Ms. Abdul began her career doing choreography for the LA Lakers, and was discovered by the Jacksons, with whom she did choreography for, as well as films, such as the keyboard scene in Big.
From there, she started her own musical career and her singles "Forever Your Girl", "Opposites Attract" and "Cold Hearted" all charted #1 on the US Billboards, and her second and third albums were successful as well.
Since 2002, Abdul has been on the reality competition show American Idol.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Éric Benhamou!
Éric Benhamou is a software developer, entrepreneur and businessman. He's best known for being the CEO of 3Com from 1990 until 2000, and the Palm Pilot, which was the first widely successful personal digital assistant (PDA).
After moving to the US from France (and before that, from Algeria), he worked at Zilog until it was acquired, then co-founded Bridge Communications, which was a acquired by 3Com. He rose through the ranks and became CEO of 3Com, while at the same time, working with a new startup Palm Computing on what eventually became the Palm Pilot, the first widely successful PDA.
He received the Medal of Honor of Ellis Island as well as the Nessim Habif prize. He is the founder of Benhamou Global Ventures, as well as the non-profit ISRAEL21c.
Fun Fact: Benhamou is the youngest student at École nationale supérieure d'arts et métiers to receive a "diplôme d'Ingénieur".
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Emma Lazarus!
Emma Lazarus was a poet and activist for Jewish and Georgist causes. Her most famous work is "The New Colossus". A quote from the The New Colossus is inscribed on a plaque near the Statue of Liberty.
Lazarus believed in equality and the single tax movement. She also worked to assist Jews fleeing pogroms in Eastern Europe, despite the fact that she herself came from a wealthy family of Sephardi Jews who had come to New York City (then New Amsterdam) in the Jewish arrival in New Amsterdam in 1654. She helped found the Hebrew Technical Institute and the Society for the Improvement and Colonization of East European Jews.
Her poems and positions appeared in many newspapers and publications of the time.
Many historians credit Lazarus for shaping the self-identity of the United States.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Dara Torres!
Dara Grace Torres is a 12-time Olympic swimmer for the United States 🇺🇸 with an an incredible 24 year Olympic career! Torres is also a five times world record holder in three events, the 50 Meter Freestyle, the Women's 4×100-meter freestyle relay, and Women's 4×100-meter medley relay.
She was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2005.
Fun Fact: Torres also has the distinction of being the first athlete to be featured in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Eric André!
Eric Samuel André is a comerian, actor, and producer. He's best known for The Eric Andre Show, which he stars in, writes, and produces. The show has been airing for over ten years and his style of comedy is irreverent and surreal, which spans both the show and his real life, such as when he stopped brushing his hair or showering for a month before and during season four of his show. André also works on other shows an an actor, a writer, or producer.
He is also a musician who has a self-titled band, Blart, which has released two albums.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Dr. Ruth!
Karola Ruth Westheimer is a world renowned sex therapist, talk show host and advocate. She is known for her casual style and sex positive message, which she has advocated for for the last fifty years. Since the 1970s, Westheimer has been spreading a positive message about sex and sexuality, saying that that quote "there is no normal" and accepting all manner of sexual orientations decades before the public.
Dr. Ruth is a Holocaust survivor, her being a German child sent to Switzerland to escape the Nazis, where she lived in an orphanage and was unable to attend school with the Swiss children. After the war, Westheimer decided to move to British Mandated Palestine, joined a Kibbutz, and then the Haganah Jewish Zionist paramilitary organization where she fought for Israel's independence.
She later moved to France, then the US where she began her career.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Georges Moustaki!
Georges Moustaki was a musician and songwriter in France who wrote many of the biggest French musical hits for artists such as Édith Piaf, Brigitte Fontaine, Françoise Hardy, Yves Montand, Barbara, and more.
Moustaki grew up in Aleandria as a Romaniote Jew. At age 17, he moved to France and worked as a door to door salesman by day and working nightclubs by night, and soonafter began working for a songwriter. He specifically wrote songs for Edith Piaf, who he then became romantically involved with as well.
Many of his songs were international hits, and he eventually began his own career, and as a polygot, he would sing in all the languages he knew, which were Arabic, Greek, French, Italian, English, Spanish and Portugese.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Jo Aleh!
Joanna Ayela Aleh is a world renowned athlete and sailor from New Zealand. She began her athletic sailing career at the age of eleven and has been competing at the national and international level since. She's competed in many competitions and won many awards. Notably she's the woman to win the Tanner Cup, and the 420 World Champions in 2007 and in the 470 class at the Olympic Games in 2012.
Her website is https://www.joaleh.com/
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Rita Levi-Montalcini!
Rita Levi-Montalcini was a scientist who overcame impossible odds, eventually discovering the mechanisms of nerve growth and regeneration, as well as other neurological discoveries. Levi-Montalcini grew up in a strict Jewish household, and was forbidden from advanced school. Eventually she convinced her father to allow her to attend, and she excelled in all her classes, taking years worth in just eight months. From there she attended the University of Turin, but following her graduation, Mussolini banned Jews from being able to work in academia.
Levi-Montalcini set p a lab in her bedroom and continued her research, which eventually lead to the discovery of the nerve generation factor, a core process from which nerves grow and regenerate, and for which she was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1986. She was also awarded Senator for Life of the Italian senate.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is László Bíró!
László Bíró was the inventor who perfected the ballpoint pen and made it a viable commercial product. While fountain pens and quill pens are popular, they require a good deal of finesse from their writers. A ballpoint pen had been invented, but its design was essentially a fountain pen with a ball instead of a nib.
Bíró refined the end of the pen, making it narrower, keeping the ball from moving and creating a largely air tight seal. This gave his pen properties of writing fast, not smudging, and, due to its use of capillary action to supply ink, largely not skipping either.
In much of the world, a ballpoint pen is called a biro.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Shel Silverstein!
Sheldon Allan Silverstein was an author, musician, playright, poet, and artist. Silverstein is best known for the children's books which he wrote and illustrated himself: The Giving Tree, Where the Sidewalk Ends, and A Light in the Attic..
Less known about Silverstein is that he was successful in several other careerss, aside from children's books. He wrote and published a hit series for Playboy Magazine called Shel Silverstein Visits.... He also wrote several hit songs in the 1960s in multiple musical genres, but particularly country singers. Among other songs, he wrote the chart toppers, A Boy Named Sue, Put Another Log on the Fire, as well as music for television and film. Silverstein is the recipient of two Grammy awards.
In addition, Silverstein wrote and produced many short plays that were off-Broadway hits, and have recently been revived.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Sulochana!
Ruby Myers, better known by her stage name Sulochana, was a popular film actress in India. In the silent film era, she was one of the most highly paid actors in India. Her most popular films were Typist Girl, Balidaan, and Wildcat of Bombay.
She founded her own film studio, Ruby Pics, in the 1930s in order to offer herself better conditions and promote her brand.
In 1973, she received the Dada Saheb Phalke Award for her lifetime of work. In 2013, she was commemorated with a a postage stamp depicting her in her in her heyday.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Lisa Loeb!
Lisa Loeb is a musician, author, actor, and enterpreneur. Loeb has multiple hit singles, including Stay (I Missed You), Do You Sleep?, and I Do and several certified gold albumns, Tails and Firecracker. Aside from a musical career, she has had roles in several television series and movies.
Aside from her work as an entertainer, Loeb has a brand of eyeglasses called the Lisa Loeb Eyewear Collection, and a brand of fair trade coffee Wake Up! Brew. All the profits from Wake Up! Brew coffee go to her non-profit, the Camp Lisa Foundation, which provides funding for underprivileged children to attend summer camp.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Franz Kafka!
Frankz Kafka was one of the most important authors of the 20th Century. Trained as a lawyer in Prague during the Austria-Hungarian empire, he found much of his work and the society of his day to be confusing and dehumanizing. He would transfer those themes into his writing, which often contain themes of alienation, anxiety, guilt, and a general sense of deliberate crushing absurdity.
Today Kafka's work stands out amongst 20th century writers not only for its critique of modern society, but the ways that Kafka turned this tragedy into surreal comedy, a literary technique that's used commonly today.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Jules Konopinski!
Julius Hillel Konopinski was an activist and founding member of the 43 Group. Konopinski fled Nazi Germany at age 9, and made it to London by the skin of his teeth. Seven years later, at age 16, he saw that while the British had won the war, Nazis persisted in London and their power was growing. He and friends founded the "43 Group", a group of Jewish antifascists who pledged to stop Nazis by any means necessary.
The 43 Group directly clashed with and engaged in violence against Oswald Mosley and the Union Movement, which blamed post-war shortages and economic hardship of the time on the Jews.
When the Union Movement disbanded in 1950, the 43 Group followed suit, feeling that their work was largely complete.
Konopinski passed away this week at age 93.
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Pink!
Alecia Beth Moore Hart, best known by her stage name, Pink, is a musical artist and actress. Pink has a discograhy of nine records over her more than twenty year career. Many of her albumns have charted in the top Billboard chart in the US and abroad, and she's won multiple awards, including seven MTV Music Awards, three Grammy awards, two Brit awards, and more.
Her website is http://www.pinkspage.com/
✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Ruth Bader Ginsberg!
Ruth Bader Ginsberg was a former attorney and Supreme Court Justice in the United States. For much of her career, she worked for the American Civil Liberties Union and argued cases before the Supreme Court on topics of human rights, especially in the area of gender rights, notably the equal treatment of women and the rights of women to various benefits.
In 1993, President Clinton appointed Ginsberg to the US Supreme Court. She was the second woman and first Jewish woman appointed to the court where she precided for nearly thirty years. There, she wapart of the liberal justices's work to increase civil rights in the US, expanding those rights on the basis of gender, race, and sexual orientation. Notably she was the first Supreme Court justice to officiate an same-sex wedding.
:✡️ Today's Jew of the Day is Leonard Nimoy!
Leonard Nimoy is best known and remembered for his portrayal of the character Spock from Star Trek. To many, Nimoy embodies the character, and being a Vulcan, though as is often noted, Spock was a half-Vulcan, half-Human, a dichotomy that is familiar for most Jews, especially in the diaspora.
Aside from Star Trek, Nimoy was an accomplished stage actor (notably playing Tevye in Fidler on the Roof), and as Randle McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest as well as other notable roles.
In his personal life, Nimoy was active in the Jewish community. A child Ukrainian Jewish immigrants, he spoke Yiddish fluently and had performed in Yiddish theatre as a child. As an adult, he created the book Shkhina about the feminine side of Jewish divinity.
Nimoy is also responsible for adapting the Cohanim prayer for blessing the the congregation to the Vulcan salute 🖖
🌈 Today's Jew of the Day is Peaches!
Merrill Nisker is best known by her stage name, Peaches. Peaches has a long career in many genres, including folk, rock, rap and avante guard music. She's also written music for many films and television series, but she's best known for her song "Fuck the Pain Away".
Growing up in Toronto, Nisker experienced antisemitism growing up, with nearby catholic school children throwing rocks at her and calling her a "dirty Jew".
Nisker is out as bisexual, and many of her songs and performances engage in gender-fuckery, including use of varying pronouns, and appearing on the cover of Fatherfucker in a full beard.
Currently Peaches lives in Berlin and continues to make music to this day.
Her website is https://teachesofpeaches.com
🌈 Today's Jew of the day is Muriel Rukeyser!
Poet, political activist, and feminist - Muriel Rukeyser was a force to be reckoned with! She bravely used her pen to challenge injustice and amplify the fight for equality. Her poem "To be a Jew in the Twentieth Century" was a powerful testament to her people, expressing Judaism as a gift. It was later adopted by the American Reform and Reconstructionist movements for their siddur. Her list of works is so extensive that it wasn't possible to fit or even summarize it here!
Muriel was not only an influential figure in literature but also an icon for the LGBTQ+ community, coming out publicly as bisexual in 1936!
🌈 Today's Jew of the Day is Deborah Brin!
Born 1953, Ms. Brin is one of the first openly gay rabbis.✡️ As rabbi emerita of Congregation Nahalat Shalom in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she's made significant contributions to Jewish literature & feminism, including leading the first women's prayer at the Western Wall. 🕍 Recognized as an LGBTQ+ icon, her story features in 'Pride: The Story of the LGBTQ Equality Movement'.
Her website is http://www.rabbibrin.com/