Skip To Content

December 31, 2004

100 Years Ago

• Sam Fefferman ran a dry goods store on New York City’s Orchard Street. Things were going well for him and he decided to expand. Therefore he hired one Mendel Frucht to stand outside his store with a pushcart. For this he paid Frucht $8 per week. Fefferman’s business continued to succeed. Thus it was with great surprise that he greeted a city marshal and two policeman at his door who said they were there to shut him down. The marshal showed Fefferman a document indicating that the firm of “Fefferman and Frucht” had defaulted on a $500 loan. Fefferman protested that Frucht was not and never had been his partner, but the marshal closed him down anyway.

• A gang of Orthodox Jews connected to the Agudath Israel organization made a pogrom on the headquarters of the Zionist sports club, Bar-Kokhva. Not only did they break the windows, but they smashed all the furniture, ripped up the books and destroyed anything they could find. The attack was allegedly in response to a speech that Zionist leader Yitzhak Grinboym made in the Polish Parliament, in which he mentioned the Gerer Rebbe in less than benevolent terms. Not to be outdone, the Zionist sports club members attacked the Orthodox group the following day, beating up a number of the group’s members.

75 Years Ago

• A statistical study of the students at City College of New York indicates that many of the parents of the college’s best students are complete illiterates. It also was found that only 1% of the parents were professionals, such as doctors or lawyers. Dr. Payne, a professor at City College, said that most students’ parents are street peddlers and unwanted immigrants, the vast majority of whom are Jewish. The professor said that the children of these illiterate immigrants are going to be future Spinozas, Disraelis, Einsteins and Freuds. In comparison with their gentile colleagues, the Jewish students tend to finish a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree in three years.

50 Years Ago

• “We must take the American weapons and attack the State of Israel while we still can,” said Premier El-Khoury of Syria in an interview in a Cairo newspaper. “I don’t know what we’re waiting for,” he continued, “the weapons were given to us on the one condition that they not be used for aggression, but only for self-defense, so let us take these weapons and attack Israel, and I guarantee to defend our handling of the situation in the U.N. and in the International Court of Justice.” When asked how to solve the Palestinian problem, El-Khoury said that Israel must be forced back to borders that are “just and legal.”

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.