September 17, 1948 — Lehi Assassinates U.N. Envoy Bernadotte


Count Folke Bernadotte, a Swedish diplomat sent by the United Nations in May to mediate between Israel and the Arabs during the War of Independence, is assassinated in Jerusalem by members of Lehi (the Stern Gang). Bernadotte had arranged a monthlong cease-fire that went into effect June 11 and is working on a peace plan with international status for Jerusalem when he is killed. No one ever is charged.


September 18, 1918 — Swimmer Judith Deutsch Is Born


Champion swimmer Judith Deutsch is born in Vienna, Austria. She overcomes antisemitism to set every Austrian freestyle record at middle and long distances between 1933 and 1935. She joins fellow Austrian swimmers Ruth Langer and Lucie Goldner in refusing to go to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. She makes aliyah after she is suspended from competing in Austria, which expunges her records but apologizes in 1995.


September 19, 2014 — Filmmaker Avraham Heffner Dies

Actor and filmmaker Avraham Heffner dies at 79 in Tel Aviv. A native of Haifa, he made his acting debut in 1964’s “Hole in the Moon” and wrote and directed the award-winning 1967 short film “Slow Down.” Some scholars consider his “But Where Is Daniel Wax?” Israel’s greatest movie. As a lecturer at Tel Aviv University, he influenced filmmakers such as Eitan Green, Renen Shor, Ari Folman, Hagai Levi and Dover Kosashvili.


September 20, 1931 — Actress Haya Harareet Is Born


Actress Haya Harareet, best known as Judah Ben-Hur’s love interest Esther in the 1959 remake of “Ben-Hur,” is born Haya Neuberg in Haifa. She begins her acting career in 1955’s “Hill 24 Doesn’t Answer,” the first feature film produced in Israel for international distribution. She appears in Italian, U.S. and British films over the next decade. She wins acclaim but no awards for “Ben-Hur,” which grabs eleven Oscars.


September 21, 2010 — International Law Scholar Shabtai Rosenne Dies

Diplomat Shabtai Rosenne, a Bar-Ilan University professor considered an authority by the International Court of Justice, dies of a heart attack at 92. He was a major contributor to the international law of treaties and law of the sea. He formulated Israel’s 1949 armistice agreements, served as an envoy to the United Nations, and wrote the four-volume series “The Law and Practice of the International Court 1920-1996.”


September 22, 1943 — Musician Ariel Zilber Is Born

Singer-songwriter Ariel Zilber is born in Tel Aviv. His mother is a singer, and his father is a violinist with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. In the 1970s and 1980s he establishes an eclectic sound and leads multiple rock bands, then has a successful solo career. His music spans rock, pop and hip-hop. His political views draw attention away from his music as he moves toward the Orthodox right in the early 2000s.


September 23, 1920 — Shas Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Is Born

Ovadia Yosef, a Sephardi rabbi, politician and community leader, is born in Baghdad. He moves to Jerusalem at age 4. He is ordained at age 20 and becomes Cairo’s chief rabbi at 27 before returning to Israel, where he becomes chief rabbi in 1973. He becomes the spiritual leader of Shas when the political party forms in 1983. He supports trading land for true peace. Nearly seven hundred thousand  people attend his funeral in 2013.


Items are provided by the Center for Israel Education.

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