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Culture

Looking Back: March 30, 2012

100 Years Ago in the Forward

Late on a Friday night, Jacob Goldstein was sitting in his Suffolk Street apartment on Manhattan’s Lower East Side when there was a knock at the door. Without thinking about it too much, Goldstein got up and answered it. When he opened the door, three men were standing there pointing revolvers at him. They pushed him back into the apartment and demanded everything he had. Goldstein complied. They took a gold watch and chain and all his cash before disappearing down the stairs. As soon as they left, Goldstein ran to the window and started yelling for help. A policeman happened to be nearby, and he managed to nab one of the crooks, whom Goldstein identified. The police officer began walking the thief to the stationhouse when a gang suddenly attacked him, beating him badly and freeing his prisoner.

75 Years Ago in the Forward

According to sources in Warsaw, Polish anti-Semites are preparing pogroms and major organized boycotts against Jewish shops in time for Passover. In Posen, bombs were thrown into a number of Jewish-owned shops, destroying tens of thousands of dollars worth of merchandise. In Katowicz, the anti-Semitic city council has stopped giving licenses to Jewish merchants. In the city of Grudzin, bombs were thrown into a Jewish-owned textile factory, destroying much of the stock. Anti-Semitism has seized all of Poland. The boycott against Jewish shops has been strengthened, and attacks against Jews have become more frequent. A delegation of Jewish merchants approached the Polish commerce minister, but no decisions have been made about what to do about the situation.

50 Years Ago in the Forward

According to Granger Westberg, a Chicago professor of health and religion, Jews drink significantly less alcohol than do gentiles. Speaking at a conference on alcoholism, Westberg said that researchers were amazed to discover the disparity in alcohol consumption between Jews and others. He is not sure of the reason, but suspects it has something to do with how close-knit Jewish families are, as well as with the fact that alcohol is used freely and openly at Jewish ceremonies and events and that there is no taboo placed on it. Westberg claims that the Jewish association of wine with religion presents a different relationship to alcohol from that held by other ethnic groups.

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