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June 27, 2008

100 Years Ago in the forward

Lazarus Levi, a 65-year-old Jewish banker of the banking firm Levi and Company, was in court this week, being sued for a whopping sum of $100,000 for breaking a young girl’s heart. The actual charge, brought by one Sissy Merrill, is for breach of promise. According to Merrill, Levi promised to marry her. Levi, who admits that he was “friendly” with Merrill, denies the marriage proposal. The demand for $100,000 in damages is not only for Merrill’s broken heart but also to support her newborn baby, who, she claims, is the fruit of her relationship with Levi.

75 Years Ago in the forward

New York’s Jewish quarter is in an uproar after United States government inspectors announced that an inspection of the popular Isaac Gellis delicatessen foods factory revealed a significant amount of nonkosher meat and that the company has been sending out sausage stamped “kosher” when it is clearly not. This is not the first time something like this has happened: Not long ago, the same inspectors caught the Bronfman “kosher” firm selling nonkosher meat. When the news broke, Abraham Gellis, president of the company, came to the offices of the Forward with a rabbi and said that the meat from his factory is, in fact, kosher.

World-famous cantor Yossele Rosenblatt died unexpectedly of a heart attack while on a trip to Palestine. Rosenblatt, who is probably the world’s best-known cantor, had traveled to the Middle East in order to make a talking picture filmed by 20th Century Fox. He had been traveling all over the country, filming scenes in historic places. Rosenblatt had just completed a scene that showed him performing and wading in the Jordan River, when suddenly he collapsed and died.

50 Years Ago in the forward

A convoy of buses and cars led by a police escort traveled to Washington, D.C., from Brooklyn, loaded with hundreds of protesters from the ultra-Orthodox Neturei Karta sect. They arrived in the capital and set up a boisterous demonstration in front of the White House in order to convince President Eisenhower to put pressure on the State of Israel to quash what the protesters say is severe discrimination against religious freedom. The protesters voiced a litany of complaints, among them a condemnation of Israeli ambassador Abba Eban and issues dealing with a new swimming pool in Jerusalem, which they oppose.


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