Looking Back


Jewish Gangster Lured to Revenge Shooting at Restaurant on E. 14th Street

By Eddy Portnoy

A gangster named Billy Lustig was lured to a 14th St. restaurant and shot 100 years ago. A Brooklyn rabbi was busted for smuggling opium in 1938.Read More


Man Steals Family Photos So Not To Appear Forverts' 'Missing Husbands' Gallery

By Eddy Portnoy

This week in 1913 Becky Sher wanted to put her runaway husband’s picture in the ‘Gallery of Missing Husbands,’ but Mr. Sher was smart and took all the family photographs.Read More


Shakedown Artist 'Red Shirt Abie' Convicted for Poisoning Deliverymen's Horses

By Eddy Portnoy

A century ago, a notorious shakedown artist known as ‘Red Shirt Abie’ was convicted for poisoning delivery horses. Five decades later, Jacob Javits spoke out against the treatment of Soviet Jews.Read More


Moyshe the Shtarker, Jewish Gangster, Stabbed and Shot

By Eddy Portnoy

Few mourned the murder of a gangster dubbed Moyshe the Shtarker a century ago. And 75 years ago, uncomfortable questions about prodigies Yehudi and Hepitza Menuhin.Read More


Lower East Side Physician Arrested for Dealing Cocaine and Opium

By Eddy Portnoy

One hundred years ago, Lower East Side physician Abraham Glickstein was arrested for dealing cocaine and opium. Seventy-five years later Jews were deported from Vienna.Read More


Fraternity Branch Closes To Avoid Jewish Members

By Eddy Portnoy

One hundred years ago, a fraternity revoked a local chapter’s charter to avoid admitting Jews. Fifty years later a Jewish detective was shot in a hotel stake-out.Read More


Bertrand Russell Calls Out Nikita Khrushchev

By Eddy Portnoy

Nikita Khrushchev was criticized by a famed philosopher for denying the reality of anti-Semitism. Twenty-five years earlier, a Jewish gangster was convicted after pleading: ‘I was framed!’Read More


Haman of Ellis Island Resigns

By Eddy Portnoy

One-hundred years ago this week, the “Haman of Ellis Island” resigned. Twenty-five years later, the British government issued a plan to divide Mandate Palestine.Read More


Malcolm X and the Jews

By Eddy Portnoy

100 years ago, a leader of a gang of fake beggars was locked up; 75 years ago Sigmund Freud fled Vienna; 50 years ago Malcolm X drew the ire of Jewish leaders.Read More


Third Century Synagogue Unearthed in Turkey

By Eddy Portnoy

Poland’s Labor Party passed a measure promoting emigration of Jews 75 years ago this week. Twenty-five years later, a third century synagogue was unearthed in eastern Turkey.Read More





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  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
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