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November 6, 2009

100 Years Ago In the Forward

New York City police detectives are working overtime on the Lower East Side to catch a gang of horse poisoners that has been plaguing the Jewish quarter for some time. During the past year, for example, more than 250 horses were poisoned on the Lower East Side alone, and the gang’s nefarious handiwork has affected many Jews. The way this group operates is as follows: Owners of horses or of stables receive a letter stating that the gang wants a certain amount of money (depending upon how many horses are owned) and if the owners don’t fork it over, they’ll regret it. Recipients are visited a few days later by a group of toughs who demand the money. If the owners refuse to give them the money, they find a few of their horses dead within the next few days, usually by way of poisonous apples.

75 Years Ago In the Forward

To the dismay of practically the entire Jewish quarter of New York, local rabbis have placed a ban on kosher chicken in markets throughout the city. The rabbis have also announced that they will officially boycott any shoykhet that slaughters chickens. The reason for the ban is that the rabbis have been attempting to reorganize kashrut certification and want all chickens to bear their — and only their — seal of approval. Slaughterers, for their part, really don’t care who certifies their chickens, and those from Local 440 have already announced that they cannot afford to stop working just because the rabbis aren’t organized.

50 Years Ago In the Forward

New details have come to light about recent anti-Jewish activities occurring in Romania. It is believed that these activities are taking place in order to discourage Jews from immigrating to Israel. According to a recent report, Jews who are suspected of, or who have taken steps toward, immigration to Israel are being arrested and charged with espionage and treason. Among them are Yisroel Hart, a Romanian janitor working at the Israeli Consulate who was arrested and charged with espionage; Kalmen Bernshteyn, 60, and his two sons, both engineers, who were arrested after the authorities found photographs of Jewish religious ceremonies, sent by Israeli relatives, and Ephraim Zinger, a journalist who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for mailing poems he had written to a brother in Israel. Dozens of others were also arrested and are waiting to learn their fates.

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