Looking Back


May 9, 2003

100 YEARS AGO Since most Jews in America are no longer religious, it seems odd that the market for tefillin and prayer shawls is much more active here than in Europe. A salesman of religious articles explained why: A religious Jew only needs to buy a prayer shawl and phylacteries once, and he uses them six days a week for his entire life.Read More


May 2, 2003

100 YEARS AGO Only after three days of atrocities did the Russian government finally declare martial law. A week after one of the worst pogroms in history, the Forward has received a telegram detailing the damage: Jewish shops and homes destroyed; streets full of feathers and smashed furniture; more than 100 Jews murdered, 400 permanently…Read More


April 25, 2003

100 YEARS AGO The streets of Kishinev are running with Jewish blood. It is being reported that thus far more than 25 people have been killed and hundreds wounded in a major pogrom that began on Easter Sunday. An organized band of pogromists wielding knives and machetes attacked the Jewish quarter, where they broke into houses…Read More


April 18, 2003

100 YEARS AGO The police arrested a gang of eight Italians and charged them with the murder of an unknown person whose body had been found stuffed in a barrel on 11th Street. Those arrested are alleged to be members in the mysterious secret society called “mafia.”Read More


April 11, 2003

100 YEARS AGO A policeman found Lower East Side celebrity and restaurateur Big Dave Bernstein stumbling around the Bowery with a revolver hanging out of his pocket. Big Dave, known locally for his strength, had blood pouring out of a wound in his chest. When the cop tried to help him, he pushed the officer out of his way.Read More


April 4, 2003

100 YEARS AGO When her tenement on Henry Street went up in flames, 14-year-old Rosie Rothstein ran into the hallway screaming for someone to save her 84-year-old grandfather. But in the chaos, no one in the crowd paid any attention to her. “You’re a bunch of sissies,” the girl yelled, running back into the burning tenement to try to…Read More


March 28, 2003

100 YEARS AGO A project is underway in the Pale of Settlement to give Jews of small shtetls the same legal status as that of the peasantry. This is worrisome to the Jews, since this places them under direct control of the noble class, which has the legal right to physically beat their subjects. Up until now, it has…Read More


March 21, 2003

100 YEARS AGO A savage mass attacked the Jewish quarter of Filippov, Bulgaria, after a rumor spread that a Jew planned to kidnap a Christian child and use his blood to make matzo on Passover. A number of Jews were killed and the community is in fear for its life. Stores have been shuttered, and the Jews have locked themselves up in their homes.Read More


March 14, 2003

100 YEARS AGO From Rivington to Hester Street, and all over the Lower East Side, dozens of Jews stood around waving their fists, threatening to “hang that Haman” even before Purim. “Haman,” in this case,” is Sanitation Commissioner Woodbury, who declared that the selling of fish from pushcarts will be permitted no longer.Read More


March 7, 2003

100 YEARS AGO A strike like no other has broken out in Omaha, Neb. The small Jewish community is up in arms since the Shabbat goyim have gone on strike, demanding an increase in their wages. The Shabbat goyim, who light the gas and turn on the ovens for the Jews, decided that 10 cents per Sabbath was not enough and demanded a raise to 15 cents.Read More





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