December 5, 2003

Published December 05, 2003, issue of December 05, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share


• Recently, in the middle of services, a Bund activist tacked up a proclamation poster on the front door of the biggest synagogue in Grodno. The congregants ran outside to see what it was and read every word on the poster with relish. But the gabbai ran to the synagogue’s Shabbes goy and told him to tear it down. One of the congregants, a laborer, asked them not to take down the poster, but they refused to listen to him. At that point, the laborer punched the gabbai and the rest of the congregants began to pummel both the gabbai and his Shabbes goy. The police showed up, and one of them mounted the bima and warned the Jews that if the Jewish youths don’t stop their anti-government activities, there would be big trouble.


• There were a few interesting cases this week in the Jewish Arbitration Court on Madison Street. Hyman Jacobs of Brooklyn sued his landsmanshaft, the Makover Society, for $10. Jacobs argued that it should pay him for the time he had to spend sitting shiva for his wife. Normally, the society pays its members a shiva benefit to compensate for lost work during the seven-day period, but in Jacobs’s case, it refused to do so. The Makovers argued that Jacobs had been separated from his wife and was a single member of the society. The judges decided that Jacobs should receive the $10 shiva benefit.

• Why are most of New York City’s Jewish waiters Galitzianers? There are two main reasons. One, Galitzianers, unlike Litvaks and Romanians, tended to avoid learning crafts in the Old Country. Few of them arrived here as shoemakers, tailors or tinsmiths. Their parents wanted them to be rabbis and kept them in yeshivas. The second reason is that because they were ex-citizens of Austria, they weren’t drafted into the army during the world war. They therefore found work as waiters at a time when busy shop workers began to frequent restaurants during their lunch breaks. At the same time, groups of these waiters pooled their funds and began to open their own restaurants. And when the bosses are Galitzianers, the workers are too.


• This week in Jerusalem, the Yad Vashem project to memorialize the victims of Nazism held its first meeting. A spot has been chosen, not far from Mount Herzl, to build a museum as well as offices to house archival materials. The group’s temporary budget is being provided by the Israeli government, the Jewish Agency, the Jewish National Fund and the World Jewish Congress. One of the hopes of the new project is to rescue a variety of archival materials in Europe that relate to the millions of Jewish victims of the Holocaust, which they fear might be damaged or even disappear.

Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • 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.