October 7, 2005

100 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

The city of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., has a growing Jewish community. It also has a strange problem: The trustees of Poughkeepsie’s synagogue were indicted for disturbing the peace. The reason? Apparently, the yearly sounding of the shofar was disturbing the synagogue’s Christian neighbors. Also included in the complaint was the melamed of the town’s Talmud Torah, whose young charges raised their voice to the high heavens when their teacher beat them for not behaving properly. The trustees and the melamed argued that the indictment is simply an attempt to drive the Jews out of town.

75 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

Yale University is kind of like a yeshiva: It is made up of only male students. Therefore, the students there are constantly looking for female companionship. The closest they can find is in New Haven, Conn., itself, in the form of the local residents. It seems that as a result of this situation, Jewish girls in New Haven have become objects of desire among Yalies. The Ivy Leaguers meet these girls at local dances, plays and football games. And a number of mixed marriages have taken place between girls from local Jewish families and Yalies from some of the wealthiest, aristocratic American families.

In other Ivy League news, it is being reported that Harvard University refused to allow Jewish students to postpone an exam that was scheduled on Yom Kippur. Instead, the students were threatened with having to delay their graduations for a full year. Harvard Dean Alfred Hanford was presented with requests to change the exam’s date, but he refused to do so. The dean said through a spokesman that the date for the test had been decided last spring and that no one complained about it then. Twenty Jewish students decided to take the exam, rather than lose one year of their studies.

50 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

A number of Arab newspapers have mounted a strong campaign against Zionism and the State of Israel. For example, the Tunisian daily Azora wrote this week: “Palestine is an Arab and Muslim land and will be recovered.” The article went on to attack America for allowing the creation of Israel. It also lamented the lack of unity in the Arab world — a problem that, it said, could be solved by Arabs uniting against the State of Israel. The paper called on Tunisian Jews to denounce Zionism. At the same time, stores in the Jewish quarter of Tunis were attacked by mobs of Muslim youths.

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October 7, 2005

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