January 1, 2010

Looking Back

Published December 23, 2009, issue of January 01, 2010.
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100 Years Ago in the Forward

Hyman Epstein, the former Brooklyn banker who two years ago absconded with more than $60,000 in depositors’ money, has finally been arrested. Admitting his guilt, he said that his conscience would not let him rest and that he is ready to accept whatever the justice system doles out to him. He added that it didn’t matter anyway, because he is now penniless. His depositors, who are still angry, were mostly Jews and included small businessmen, workers and simple folk. They all entrusted their meager life savings to Epstein, and he disappeared with everything. These people won’t get back their money, but at least they will see justice served.

75 Years Ago in the Forward

The president of Wesleyan University, James McConaughy, recently wrote a letter to 12 pre-med students at his school, in which he suggested they consider professions other than medicine. McConaughy wrote that it is currently very difficult for Jews to enter medical school, a problem he said exists because of the large proportion of Jews applying for a limited number of spaces. Jews, he wrote, are only a small portion of the population, and more than 50% of medical school applications are from Jewish students. McConaughy added that he is not antisemitic, but simply wants to shield his students from disappointment if they are not accepted to a medical school.

50 Years Ago in the Forward

Israelis have accused the United States of strengthening Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser by giving him much needed economic aid. As a result, the Israelis say, Nasser has become more brazen in his taunts and threats toward the Jewish state. Egypt is expected to receive nearly $150 million in aid from the United States this year. While it was initially thought that Egypt would behave more civilly toward its neighbor if it received monies from the West, it has turned out that the aid has had the opposite effect, with Nasser threatening an Israeli irrigation project.

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