January 8, 2010

Looking Back

Published December 30, 2009, issue of January 08, 2010.
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100 Years Ago in the forward

More information on “King of the Pimps” Samuel Rogoff has come to light after his recent arrest. Rogoff, who is known on the street as “Sam the Painter,” maintained dozens of apartments, mainly in the Harlem section of Manhattan, that served as brothels. His main partner in crime was Velvl Katz, who was also hauled in by police. One of their madams, Freda Stern, testified against both men, informing the authorities of how the two of them duped young women into “marrying” them and then shipped the women off to uptown apartments and held them against their will, making them service other men. Police detectives estimate there are more than 200 such prostitution flats in the residential areas between 59th and 113th streets.

75 Years Ago in the forward

It goes without saying that if there is such a thing as a Jewish national industry, it’s clothing manufacturing. Much of American Jewish life is built on the backs of tailors, and it’s no different in a lot of places to which Jews immigrate. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Palestine, to which thousands of Jews are streaming, has become the garment center of the Middle East. The amount of clothing shipped into Tel Aviv from neighboring countries has reached into the millions of dollars. But locals, worried that this cheap product will displace locally made clothing, have started a program to promote totseret ha’aretz, or “products of the land.”

50 Years Ago in the forward

Antisemitism is on the rise in Europe. A number of large swastikas were drawn on the Kensington Park Road Synagogue in London, along with the words “*Juden raus” or Jews out. Police, who were on the scene within an hour and oversaw the scrubbing of the walls, were surprised that no one was caught in the act. The Notting Hill neighborhood, where the synagogue is located, is a heavily Jewish area with a large number of delicatessens and Jewish-owned stores. Swastikas also were found on a number of houses in the Jewish quarter in Paris. They are believed to have been drawn there by groups of young fascist hooligans.

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