April 17, 2009

    100 Years Ago in the forward: Not long ago, a young Jewish man appeared before the magistrate in City Court in Manhattan. Having just finished law school, he acted as his own attorney. He was in court in order to have his name changed. “Why do you want to change your name?” the judge asked.

    April 10, 2009

    100 Years Ago in the forward: The old-style Jewish atheist used to hate all religious ceremonies and would mock them bitterly, heaping scorn upon ancient customs. As such, Jewish atheists always turned up their noses at Passover Seders.

    April 3, 2009

    100 Years Ago in the forward: The world’s most beloved German-language actor, Adolf Sonenthal, has died of an apoplectic fit in Prague at the age of 75. Born in Budapest to a family of Jewish fabric merchants, Sonenthal grew up in that city’s Jewish quarter. Although he received a good education, Sonenthal was drawn to the theater, and this troubled his parents greatly.

    March 27, 2009

    100 Years Ago in the forward: Only about five years ago, Bathgate Avenue in the Bronx was a beautiful, dreamy, Garden of Eden of a street, populated by little wooden houses and surrounded by beautiful trees. The street’s residents were no doubt shocked by how quickly their neighborhood changed when the Jews began moving in. It all started when one local real estate entrepreneur built a tenement house.

    March 20, 2009

    100 Years Ago in the forward: When Joseph Leibel, a Jewish fruit peddler from Hartford, Conn., met Becky Betsalel, he fell for her. She felt the same, and together they were destined to go under the wedding canopy. But Leibel traveled in the state to Meriden on business, and there he made the acquaintance of Fanny Perry and decided that it was not Betsalel but Perry who was his bashert.