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Culture

January 14, 2005

100 Years Ago

• It has already been three weeks since cap makers have gone on strike and the machines in their shops have stopped operating. The shop bosses have been busy looking for scab laborers to send into the shops — but not long after they begin working, they also join the picket lines. It appears that every morning, the bosses walk into their shops, happy that God has sent them a few scabs, but even before lunchtime the machines shut down again and the scabs end up joining the picketers. This infuriates the bosses, who want to attack the strikers. It seems, though, that the bosses are beginning to realize they never will break the union. Many of them already regret forcing the strike in the first place.

75 Years Ago

• “If you go to Miami and you’re feeling a bit lost, you only have to get to Miami Beach in order to feel at home. The first thing you’ll see is a Jewish delicatessen with the delicious herring and the usual peppery sausages; you’ll find a Jewish bakery with freshly baked challahs; restaurant windows wink at you with big Jewish stars and the word ‘kosher’ written in gold in the middle; the names on the signs will make you feel right at home when you see them: Goldstein, Davidson and other such names you long for.” This excerpt came from an article on how Miami Beach has become a Jewish vacation spot.

• Despite the fact that some of the biggest Jewish restaurants have spent thousands of dollars remodeling, many of them still are empty, due partly to the fact that we’re in the midst of a terrible Depression, and so people simply do not have any money to spend. Another factor is that automats have cut into business. Drug stores also have started selling sandwiches and malteds. Even cigar stores have set up counters where they sell soup and sandwiches. There’s even one ice cream shop on Second Avenue that sells gefilte fish.

50 Years Ago

• Recently, a new sign was hung out in front of an old church on West 159th Street, where African-Americans had prayed for years. On it was written: “Temple Society of Abyssinian Jews; Director Dr. Rabbi S. M. Craig; Prayers every Saturday morning.” This was the newest temple of the black Jews of Harlem. Two young German Jews who were both immigrants worked there as teachers. Normally they had attended synagogue at one of the German synagogues nearby, but they wanted to work at this new temple. “There’s no difference between white Jews and black Jews,” one of them said, “we all come from one God.”

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