East Harlem Synagogue Collapse Causes Mayhem on Rosh Hashanah

Attack in Tiberias Kills 21, Syria Prisoner Exchange Mooted

1933: Jewish diamond cutters of Antwerp, Belgium, pose with their tools.
Forward Association
1933: Jewish diamond cutters of Antwerp, Belgium, pose with their tools.

By Eddy Portnoy

Published September 28, 2013, issue of October 04, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

1913 •100 years ago

Synagogue Gallery Collapses

Dozens of people were wounded when the women’s gallery in a New york synagogue on 106th Street between Park and Madison avenues suddenly collapsed and fell onto the seats below. Though it was the second day of Rosh Hashanah, the collapse occurred early enough, around 9 a.m., that most people had not yet arrived and those below had room to escape. A buildings Department employee said the balcony, which was packed with women, had collapsed because it hadn’t been made to hold so many people. One of the women on the balcony said that as the cantor hit a particularly sweet note, a loud crack was heard and the balcony began to fall. Heart-wrenching screams were heard as the synagogue was enveloped in dust, debris and confusion. Everyone began running toward the door in a panic, and as a result, more people were wounded trying to escape from the building.

1938 •75 years ago

Attack in Tiberias

Twenty-one Jews were murdered in a brutal terrorist attack in Tiberias, Palestine, more than half of them children. Hardest hit was the Jewish neighborhood of Kiryat Shmuel, where terrorists threw bombs and set Jewish houses ablaze. The situation caught everyone by surprise, and it took the police about three hours to take control of it. Although most of the terrorists apparently escaped, the police managed to kill six of them. Leaders of the Yishuv called for a two-hour work stoppage throughout the country so that the dead would be honored during their funerals. The victims included an entire family — parents and their four children — and an American citizen who was stabbed to death as his house was burned down.

1963 •50 years ago

U.N. Secretary Promises Syria Talk

United Nations secretary general U Thant of Burma promised Israeli Foreign Minister Gold Meir that he would approach the Syrian government regarding a prisoner exchange between the two countries. In September, the secretary general made an official request of both governments that they exchange prisoners. Whereas the Israelis immediately responded that they were interested, the Syrians did not reply. Meir was in New York, participating in the U.N. General Assembly meetings. During the meetings, she gave a speech to the assembly in which she proposed a peace plan for Israel and the Arab States. Representatives from Egypt and Morocco attacked the proposal, saying they wanted peace with every country except for Israel.


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!
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • 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.