February 13, 2009

Looking Back

Published February 03, 2009, issue of February 13, 2009.
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100 Years Ago In the Forward

Jacob Greenfield, the boss of a Manhattan pants maker shop on East Second Street and Fifth Avenue, was arrested for the murder of Solomon Cohen, an employee of his who participated in a strike. A week ago, Cohen was found dead in the shop, with two gunshot wounds to the head. The perpetrator of the crime was unknown until a group of scabs working in the shop wrote a letter to the Forward, accusing Greenfield of the murder. In the letter, the scabs explained that a fight broke out between the bosses and the strikers during a committee meeting in the shop. The scabs were ordered to leave the shop, and shots were heard as they were filing out. Cohen was then found dead. As for Greenfield, he denies everything and claims to have been home in Brooklyn when the murder took place.

75 Years Ago In the Forward

After having met as extras in a mass crowd scene at Broadway’s Guild Theater, Harold Clurman and Lee Strasberg got to talking. They decided that Broadway wasn’t what it should be, that theater managers were only interested in money and the two of them needed to find a theatrical outlet for quality acting. The pair, together with actress Cheryl Crawford, founded what they call the Group Theater. Already in its fourth season, the theater is beginning to win critical accolades. The chief director is 32-year-old Strasberg. Born in a shtetl near the city of Lemberg (now Lviv), and brought to the United States at the age of 7, he is a graduate of a radical Yiddish Folk Shule and was active in Yiddish theater (where he was known as Lipa). Interested in the theoretical side of theater, Strasberg read about various methods of acting. Finally, he became enamored of Stanislavski’s method. Strasberg says he feels that American acting needs to change, and he hopes it can. Strasberg has received acclaim from much of the theater world. He also has had offers from other theaters, but he wants to remain with “the Group.”

50 Years Ago In the Forward

Haifa is known as one of the most beautiful cities in Israel. It’s said that the city’s beauty has a calming effect: In Haifa, no one runs — they walk; in Haifa, no one yells — they talk; in Haifa, no one laughs loudly — they smile. It’s a city that’s serious about work and about politics. So when Haifa police announced recently that they had uncovered not one, but three, brothels right smack in the middle of Mount Carmel, one of the city’s most elegant neighborhoods, it was a shock and a sensation for most residents. So far, the authorities have refused to release the names of those involved, although it is known that the alleged pimp is also the owner of a fancy perfume shop. In the meantime, Haifa’s citizens are eagerly waiting to find out who else is involved.

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