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March 18, 2011

100 Years Ago in the forward

The Philadelphia Jewish community is up in arms since Rabbi Landman of Temple Knesset Israel gave a sermon in which he said that all Russian Jews are swindlers, fakers, liars, crooks, conspirators, thieves, robbers and murderers. It would be one thing if a Christian or a convert had cast such aspersions, but a Jew who preaches honesty and love to all? The sermon has produced a great brouhaha in the City of Brotherly Love, with many members of Landman’s own congregation dissenting. One of them sent us a letter decrying the sermon and admitting that some of the congregation even applauded after Landman called Russian Jews criminals.

75 Years Ago in the forward

A wave of pogroms continues to sweep over Poland. Random attacks on Jews occurred in Lodz; a synagogue was bombed near the end of Sabbath prayers in Sosnowiec, and many other attacks occurred throughout the country. Eighty Jews were killed, and more than 400 were wounded. As a result of these pogroms, all Jewish workers have gone on strike. The only ray of hope is that a number of Polish unions have joined them. In addition to the physical attacks, the anti-Semitic Polish National Democrats published a demand that Jews who plan on emigrating from Poland will not be permitted to take any of their capital with them. Polish anti-Semites are continuing to threaten Jews all over the country with violence.

50 Years Ago in the forward

A new scandal has erupted in Tel Aviv in connection to the Sheraton Hotel that opened recently, to great fanfare. The scandalous issue has to do with the reading material the hotel placed in the guestrooms. As is typical, an English-language Bible was made available to guests. In addition, the autobiography of Ernest Henderson, president of the Sheraton Corporation of America, was placed in the rooms. In his autobiography, Henderson apparently blames World War II on President Franklin D. Roosevelt and excuses the Nazis for their actions. “Nazi leaders had to do what they did in order to fight the dangers of communism in Germany in 1933” is one of Henderson’s opinions. Commenting from Boston, Henderson said the Israelis must have misunderstood what he wrote.

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