Plumber's Illicit Affair Ends With Acid Attack in Ice Cream Parlor

Tensions Rise in Palestine in '38, Jews Join Civil Rights Push

South of Border: The Forverts covered Jewish life in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1932. There was a large population of Eastern European emigres, a Yiddish day school and a Yiddish newspaper in the border town.
Forward association
South of Border: The Forverts covered Jewish life in Tijuana, Mexico, in 1932. There was a large population of Eastern European emigres, a Yiddish day school and a Yiddish newspaper in the border town.

By Eddy Portnoy

Published July 20, 2013, issue of July 26, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Forward Looking Back brings you the stories that were making news in the Forward’s Yiddish paper 100, 75, and 50 years ago. Check back each week for a new set of illluminating, edifying and sometimes wacky clippings from the Jewish past.

1913 •100 years ago

An Affair in the Bronx

David and Bessie Aberman and their four children lived in the Bronx. He, a building superintendent, made the acquaintance of one Sam Citron, a plumber, whom he hired one day to fix a pipe in his home. But Citron fixed more than pipes. Apparently, while David Aberman was out on the job, Citron was coming over regularly to rendezvous with his wife. Aberman found out about the affair only after his 12-year-old son informed him of it. He asked his wife if it was true, and she didn’t deny it. In order to protect the children, Aberman moved the family to Harlem, but Bessie Aberman and her plumber couldn’t be kept apart. Citron apparently rented a room in Harlem so that they could meet. When Mrs. Citron found out about the continuing affair, she confronted the couple in front of an ice cream parlor they frequented and splashed carbolic acid in their faces. Citron was blinded, and Bessie Aberman received burns on half her face. Mrs. Citron was arrested.

1938 •75 years ago

Massive Bombing in Haifa Market

As tensions in Palestine continue to increase, a massive bomb went off in Haifa’s vegetable market, killing at least 35 Arabs. Apparently the bomb was planted out of revenge for the numerous attacks made recently on Jews. Arabs quickly retaliated by burning down a number of nearby Jewish shops. Haifa’s hospitals and clinics are packed with wounded victims, among them women and children. The British authorities believe that this is the largest terrorist bomb ever to have been set in Palestine. As a result, the British have increased the number of police in the city and have also sent in soldiers and Marines. News of the bombing spread quickly, and the British authorities immediately instituted a curfew.

1963 •50 years ago

Jews in the Fight for Civil Rights

A powerful sense has arisen among American Jews that they must actively help fight for equal rights for blacks. This message was declared by Reform Jewish leader Rabbi Balfour Brickner, who said that Jews are both theologically and morally required to take part in the fight for civil rights. Speaking at a meeting of the National Catholic Conference for Equal Rights Between Races, Brickner said: “The security of the Jewish community is connected in a way which is inseparable from the security of other groups. Discrimination and segregation of others places the situation of the Jewish community in direct danger.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • “'I made a new friend,' my son told his grandfather later that day. 'I don’t know her name, but she was very nice. We met on the bus.' Welcome to Israel."
  • A Jewish female sword swallower. It's as cool as it sounds (and looks)!
  • Why did David Menachem Gordon join the IDF? In his own words: "The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States."
  • Leonard Fein's most enduring legacy may be his rejection of dualism: the idea that Jews must choose between assertiveness and compassion, between tribalism and universalism. Steven M. Cohen remembers a great Jewish progressive:
  • BREAKING: Missing lone soldier David Menachem Gordon has been found dead in central Israel. The Ohio native was 21 years old.
  • “They think they can slap on an Amish hat and a long black robe, and they’ve created a Hasid." What do you think of Hollywood's portrayal of Hasidic Jews?
  • “I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90.” Hedy Epstein fled Nazi Germany in 1933 on a Kinderstransport.
  • "A few decades ago, it would have been easy to add Jews to that list of disempowered victims. I could throw in Leo Frank, the victim of mob justice; or otherwise privileged Jewish men denied entrance to elite universities. These days, however, we have to search a lot harder." Are you worried about what's going in on #Ferguson?
  • Will you accept the challenge?
  • In the six years since Dothan launched its relocation program, 8 families have made the jump — but will they stay? We went there to find out:
  • "Jewish Israelis and West Bank Palestinians are witnessing — and living — two very different wars." Naomi Zeveloff's first on-the-ground dispatch from Israel:
  • This deserves a whistle: Lauren Bacall's stylish wardrobe is getting its own museum exhibit at Fashion Institute of Technology.
  • How do you make people laugh when they're fighting on the front lines or ducking bombs?
  • "Hamas and others have dredged up passages form the Quran that demonize Jews horribly. Some imams rail about international Jewish conspiracies. But they’d have a much smaller audience for their ravings if Israel could find a way to lower the flames in the conflict." Do you agree with J.J. Goldberg?
  • How did Tariq Abu Khdeir go from fun-loving Palestinian-American teen to international icon in just a few short weeks? http://jd.fo/d4kkV
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.