Looking Back


June 11, 2004

100 YEARS AGO On a secluded farm in New Jersey, well-known Yiddish theater actor Morris Finkel shot and killed his wife, singer Emma Finkel, and then turned the gun on himself. Both Finkels were much beloved, and the entire Yiddish theater community has been deeply saddened by the tragedy. “The news simply took my head off,” said director…Read More


June 4, 2004

100 YEARS AGO In the wake of pogroms and in light of numerous threats of new ones, Jews in shtetls are beginning to arm themselves. When Jewish residents of the shtetl of Talatshin, in the Moghilev province, caught wind of a pogrom being planned against them, they sent out announcements to neighboring Borisov, as well as to Shklov and…Read More


May 28, 2004

100 YEARS AGO New York City detectives are searching for 15-year-old Katy Garfinkel of East Harlem. Garfinkel disappeared two weeks ago. Her uncle, Paul Garfinkel, has been looking for her and just last week received information that placed the girl in a brothel on 30th Street.Read More


May 21, 2004

100 YEARS AGO In a driving rain, at 3 a.m., the Aksel family was evicted from their apartment on 89 Columbia Street. Mr. Aksel, a tailor, only learned of the eviction after a long day of toiling in the shop. When he arrived home, he didn’t know that he, his wife and their three children would be spending the night on the street.Read More


May 14, 2004

100 YEARS AGO As a result of the massive rent strike currently in effect on the Lower East Side, a group of local landlords held a meeting during which they discussed tactics such as to how to raise rents. Considering the success of the current rent strike, which is growing every day, the possibility that the landlords…Read More


May 7, 2004

100 YEARS AGO Reports from the Pale of Settlement indicate that already bad conditions for the Jews are worsening. In Bialystock, hundreds of unemployed Jewish laborers have been reduced to begging in the streets for crusts of bread. From Vitebsk comes news that local storekeepers are no longer able to buy on credit and are barely able to…Read More


April 30, 2004

100 YEARS AGO Delancey Street resident Frank Ginzberg, a tailor by trade, walked into a grocery store on Third Avenue run by his aunt and uncle, William and Mathilda Broner. Seeing Mrs. Broner at the register, Ginzberg asked where his uncle was. When his aunt answered, “He’s out. What do you need him for?” GinzbergRead More


April 23, 2004

100 YEARS AGO When firefighters arrived to put out a fire at the Greenberg residence in Antakolye, a small suburb of Vilna, they found that the house had been ransacked and the family slaughtered. The body of Leyb Greenberg was found burned; his hands had been tied behind his back, his throat slashed. More than 40 sword wounds covered his body,Read More


April 16, 2004

100 YEARS AGO While the rent strike on the Lower East Side is still in full swing, numerous landlords have shown up at the offices of the Forward to declare that they will not be raising rents. The strikes, which are multiplying by the day, are succeeding, and the strikers — simple working families — have been models…Read More


April 9, 2004

100 YEARS AGO More than a hundred Jewish homes were destroyed in Homel during a recent pogrom. The Jews, however, led by a number of butchers, defended themselves against the pogromists and managed to wound a few.Read More


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