Looking Back June 2, 2006

100 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

It’s a known fact that many young sweatshop workers are terribly jealous of Singer sewing machine agents, who make good money, are well dressed and perform work that doesn’t seem very strenuous. But the reality is that they are enslaved to the company. Though it seems like they’re partners, they’re not. Singer managers pressure them to bring in as much money as they possibly can. As a result, they bully their customers for payments, which are usually $1 per week. The customers hate them and often refer to them as “bloodsuckers.”

75 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

For many years now, rabbis have been in competition over kashrut certification. This has waxed and waned, but there is currently a pitched battle over kashrut. Why is this? Have New York’s Jews become more religious? Maybe it’s the opposite. The answer lay in the fact that over the past 10 years, New York has been flooded with European rabbis, who have been some of the only Jews permitted to enter the country despite the strict immigration laws. This flood of rabbis is fomenting a kashrut-mania composed of the three major rabbinical associations, each of which wants to take over kashrut for the city.

Famed Jewish boxing idol Sid Terris was in Brooklyn Supreme Court this week, suing, of all people, his own mother — to the tune of $150,000. Terris, an awesome lightweight, made bundles of cash during his boxing career and apparently gave his mother, Gussie, the $150,000 to hold for him. When the stock market crashed last year, Terris lost a pretty penny and needed the money back. His mother refused to hand it over — not because she didn’t have it, but because she was furious with her son for marrying a Lower East Side girl of whom she didn’t approve.

50 YEARS AGO IN THE FORWARD

The tit-for-tat terror war that has been going on in Algeria between the French government and the Algerian nationalists is taking its toll on the country’s Jewish community. Recently, on a Saturday morning, a bomb was thrown into a fully packed synagogue in Constantine. Fortunately, no one was killed; however, three Jews were badly wounded. Because most Algerian Jews are seen as Francophiles and thus as siding with the French administration, the rebels evidently consider them targets just the same as the French military.

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Looking Back June 2, 2006

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