Looking Back December 24, 2004

Published December 24, 2004, issue of December 24, 2004.
  • Print
  • Share Share

100 YEARS AGO

• Last Saturday night, the police arrested the gang of counterfeiters that has been flooding New York City’s Lower East Side, passing out fake half-dollars and dimes. Among those arrested were East 4th Street residents Frank Schleiman and Elizabeth Reiber. Two other members of their gang were arrested uptown. The police recovered hundreds of phony half dollars as well as the machine that made them from the gang’s 4th Street lair, and said that Schleiman, an engineer by trade, had made copies of half-dollars and dimes that were practically identical to the originals, only a bit lighter. It also was discovered that the gang obtained silver for the coins by melting down goods they had stolen.

75 YEARS AGO

• When people think of speakeasies, the illegal drinking establishments that have cropped up since Prohibition began, they typically think of New York’s Tenderloin District or of Greenwich Village. Both areas are dotted with all kinds of illegal bars and cabarets. And when one considers the clientele that these places attract, one thinks of young partiers, people who are wild and free. It is interesting to report that in the middle of one of New York’s Jewish neighborhoods (we can’t say which one), there is a glatt kosher speakeasy. The place began as a little restaurant run by a fat, jolly old widow who cooked kishke and roast duck to make some extra cash. The religious Jews who used to eat there also liked to drink a little schnapps with their food. Eventually the schnapps became the main thing. The free-flowing liquor attracted a wealthier sort of religious Jew — the kind who has affairs and has no place to go with his lover. As a result, the secret little restaurant became a real, kosher speak easy which began to bring in a good deal of cash. Even the police know about it and they also get their cut.

• The communist-run cooperative cafeteria on Union Square, the jewel in the crown of the movement, where all the writers from the Daily Worker and the Freiheit eat, shut down last week. Apparently, the red eatery was in debt to the tune of more than $120,000. Not only did the owners fail to pay their creditors and vendors, but they also owe thousands of dollars to their employees. Uglier yet, those employees who were party members were paid more than those who were not.

50 YEARS AGO

• As threats against Jews in Egypt continue, it is being reported that the anti-Jewish campaign is being directed by wanted Nazi war criminals who have settled in Cairo. These Nazis have, at the request of the government, set up a special “Jewish Department” and thus far have arrested more than 300 Jews. Jewish employees for the government, in banks and in schools have been fired from their jobs. The Jews of Egypt are living in fear: Arrests of Jews already have occurred at weddings, brises and bar mitzvahs.






Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • 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.