Looking Back February 6, 2004

Published February 06, 2004, issue of February 06, 2004.
  • Print
  • Share Share

100 YEARS AGO

• At a time when pogroms are occuring so frequently, it seems like all Russians hate Jews. The Bund reports, however, that there are not only working-class Russians who consider themselves compatriots of Jewish workers, but they are also willing to stand up and protect their Jewish colleagues during pogroms. For example, during the recent pogrom in Homel, a large number of Christian workers helped to defend the Jewish community from the attackers. The Bund felt it was extremely important to publicize this fact, particularly since reports of self-defense in the face of pogroms have not mentioned the growing number of Russian defenders taking part.

75 YEARS AGO

• There is no question that the most popular Jewish sports hero in America is the undefeated lightweight boxing champion, Benny Leonard. In a recent article, journalist Arthur Brisbane wrote that Leonard has brought more honor to the American Jewish masses than the dozens of famous Jewish singers, artists and intellectuals. When the Forward approached Leonard and asked him if he would be willing to tell some of his stories in our paper, he said, “I speak plain mameloshn. It would give me great joy to be able to tell my life story to the readers of the Forward.” Here is some of what he said: “I started fighting when I was about 9 or 10 years old. The kids from the block used to organize themselves into gangs. Every gang had a leader. The strongest kid from one block would usually fight the strongest kid from another block. I used to get beat up by some of the stronger kids — I was never a fearsome type. When I got older and stronger, I got a little ambitious and fought another kid for the ‘honor’ of being leader of my block. We used to fight in the back yards of the tenement houses. The little kids from the block would come and watch and it was really wild…. My mother used to yell at me, ‘I don’t want you to be a fighter, a bum! Someone will give you a zets, and you’ll, God forbid, turn into a cripple.’” But Benny persevered and made a successful career out of fighting.

50 YEARS AGO

• There is a saying: “Children and glasses: You can never have enough.” But you have to wonder, how was it for people like Horace and Augusta Rubenstein, formerly of Krakow, who had a grand total of eight daughters? Not bad, as it turns out. All of their daughters are beautiful. They were beautiful as little girls, and now, all of them bubbes, they are still beautiful. Though it is said that beauty and intelligence don’t usually go together, it wasn’t the case with the Rubenstein girls, especially the eldest, Helena. With both looks and brains, Helena was besieged with Polish officers wanting to marry her. Her parents, unhappy with that prospect, sent her to live with cousins in Australia. Arriving Down Under, she was aghast at the pale and dried-out complexions of the women in Melbourne. With a homemade recipe for cold cream, Helena opened a business that is still very successful.






Find us on Facebook!
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • 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.