November 27, 2009

Looking Back

Published November 18, 2009, issue of November 27, 2009.
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100 Years Ago in the Forward

Avrom Shulman, a resident of Bayonne, N.J., was arrested for running an illegal gambling casino in the basement of the Beys Yosef synagogue on West 20th Street in Bayonne. Shulman, who was being held on $500 bail, was arrested in the casino, along with more than 30 gamblers, all of whom were let go after paying fines. The police confiscated all of Shulman’s gambling equipment and dismantled the veritable saloon that he built there without a license. Interestingly, the investigation of the gambling ring was made by Bayonne’s mayor without the knowledge of the city’s chief of police, who apparently was on the take from the Beys Yosef casino.


75 Years Ago in the Forward

As the members of the Smieteshe Landsmanshaft were holding their monthly meeting in an apartment on Norfolk Street, on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, two men came in, holding revolvers, and yelled, “Hands up.” It was bad luck for the landsmanshaft, because their entire savings, thousands of dollars, was sitting right there on the table. One of the members, 70 year-old Kalman Bernstein, played dumb and said to the thieves, “Who are you looking for?” One thief smacked Bernstein with the butt of his revolver and yelled: “Shut up, altitshker [old man]. Don’t get mixed up in something that’s none of your business.” Needless to say, Bernstein was furious that a Jewish boy could have such chutzpah, so he picked up a chair and smashed it over the kid’s head. The holdupnik staggered out like a drunk. His partner followed, and the two hightailed it down the street. As a reward, the landsmanshaft gave Bernstein $3.


50 Years Ago in the Forward

Speaking before a special political committee at the United Nations, Ireland’s delegate to the U.N., Conor Cruise O’Brien, told the Arab countries that they should recognize Israel and make peace with her rather than constantly threaten the Jewish state, and that the refugee problem will not be solved until they do so. “Another attempt to solve the problem militarily,” Brien said, “will result in the creation of even more refugees.” He added that any attempt by the Arabs to attack Israel will not end in victory for them.


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