March 5, 2010

Looking Back

Published February 24, 2010, issue of March 05, 2010.
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100 Years Ago in the forward

A small riot occurred in New York City on Allen Street between Broome and Grand Streets at Messing and Gottfried’s Bakery, where knife-wielding thugs hired by the owners met local bakers. As several bakers from a nearby bakery were walking by on a break, thugs guarding Messing’s non-union bakery set upon them. A noisy and bloody battle ensued, which brought out dozens of spectators from the surrounding blocks. The police showed up just as the fight was ending; as usual, they arrested only the union men, among them, Davis Levine, Avrom Schwartz, Avrom Spindler and Louis Tragash. The bakers union has instituted an emergency 50 cent tax on members in order to raise bail for these four men.

75 Years Ago in the forward

Bloody street fights took place between religious and non-religious Jews in the world’s only all-Jewish city, Tel Aviv. These battles occurred after religious Jews held a stormy meeting following services in the Great Synagogue, in protest of the fact that a huge proportion of the city’s businesses are staying open on the Sabbath and are thereby desecrating it. Organized by the Shomrei-Shabbos organization, congregants at the synagogue were riled up at the protest, and afterward they streamed out onto the streets of Tel Aviv, where they smashed the windows of open businesses and attacked passing taxis, forcibly ejecting passengers. These activities brought forth the ire of a number of non-religious Jews, and a larger battle between the two groups took place. At least 10 people were wounded and 10 others were arrested.

50 Years Ago in the forward

Two-thirds of the Jewish population in Agadir, Morocco, are dead or missing after a major earthquake hit the town, located on the Atlantic coast. The president of the community, David Morupes, said that of the 2,200 Jews who lived in Agadir, only 700 have been found alive. Morupes is the only surviving member of his family. The Jewish quarter was hit exceptionally hard: Eighty percent of the houses there collapsed within the first 10 seconds of the quake. Survivors were airlifted to Casablanca.

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