March 28, 2003

Published March 28, 2003, issue of March 28, 2003.
  • Print
  • Share Share


• A project is underway in the Pale of Settlement to give Jews of small shtetls the same legal status as that of the peasantry. This is worrisome to the Jews, since this places them under direct control of the noble class, which has the legal right to physically beat their subjects. Up until now, it has been permissible for the administration to whip Jews who were engaged in political activity, but now, under the new “reforms,” it will be possible to whip any Jew, just like a peasant. It is currently unknown which shtetls will be first to undergo the reform of “equal rights” with the peasantry.


• The most recent census taken in the Soviet Union indicates that 73% of Russian Jews declared their mother tongue to be Yiddish. This statistic varies from region to region. In Belorussia, for example, the number of Yiddish speakers among Jews was 90%; in Ukraine, it was 76%, and in Russia proper it was 55%. It is notable that only 40% of Jewish communists in Ukraine declared their mother tongue to be Yiddish, though that percentage jumped to 74 in Belorussia.

• On Second Street and Avenue C, in the heart of the Lower East Side, sits the Israel Orphan Asylum, which houses, feeds and clothes more than 200 children from the ages of 1 to 6. The modern building also contains a school with a kindergarten, where the children learn English, Yiddish and Hebrew. Public school teachers also visit the orphanage and teach the 5- and 6-year-olds general subjects. A fundraiser is being held this week for the orphanage. More than 100 stars from the Broadway and Yiddish theater are expected to attend. Organizers say attendees will enjoy themselves and be supporting a good cause.


• Helene Benatar, a well-known Jewish lawyer from Casablanca, Morocco, is currently in New York working with the UJA, which will be providing funds for the impoverished Jews of North Africa. Benatar, who worked helping European Jewish refugees in Morocco during World War II, is attending meetings nationwide to talk about her experiences during the war and to discuss current problems facing North African Jewry. Among the issues she is discussing is a project to move Jewish families out of the decrepit Mellahs (ghettos) and into better, more hygienic housing.

Find us on Facebook!
  • 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.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach!
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • BREAKING: Smirking killer singled out Jews for death in suburban Kansas City rampage. 3 die in bloody rampage at JCC and retirement home.
  • Real exodus? For Mimi Minsky, it's screaming kids and demanding hubby on way down to Miami, not matzo in the desert.
  • 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.