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November 12, 2004


• Russian newspapers are looking for the root causes of the rash of pogroms that has occurred recently in the empire. The Russian journalists have concluded that the main reason for the pogroms is the wide availability of vodka. A short time ago, a number of small pogroms were perpetrated by groups of new army recruits as well as by reservists, who have made it a tradition to exercise their right to get drunk. More often than not, when these soldiers are refused more liquor in drinking establishments, they take it by force. The newspaper Novosti claimed that the pogroms could not be against Jews, because Russian gentiles suffer just as much.


• According to the recently published, Jewish Population Survey, New York City currently has nearly 2 million Jewish residents. Brooklyn is the most populous Jewish borough, with close to 1 million Jews; followed by the Bronx, with half a million; Manhattan, with 400,000, and Queens, with 75,000. The study, which has taken place over the last three years, noted that Manhattan has lost more than 100,000 Jewish residents since 1925 and that both the Bronx and Brooklyn have gained more than 100,000. All this is an indication that Jews are steadily moving out of the thickly populated immigrant areas of Lower Manhattan.

• Essex Street is all riled up about a story involving two local residents, one Mrs. Korb and one Mrs. Shneider, both of whom live in the same tenement house. It seems that Mrs. Shneider received a package of items from a man whose wife recently had passed away. Among them was a sheitel (wig) that she didn’t want. When she heard that one of the women in her shul, Mrs. Korb, was in need of one, she gave it to her. But when Mrs. Korb unraveled the sheitel, she discovered what seemed to be a packet containing tens of thousands of dollars. Upon seeing this, Mrs. Shneider snatched back the sheitel. Mrs. Korb is demanding that Mrs. Shneider appear before a bet din. Mrs. Shneider has not been seen.


• Ellis Island, the famous Island of Tears through which about 20 million immigrants, among them more than 1 million Jews, have passed, is shutting down its operations. Because of strict immigration laws and the removal of immigration operations to New York’s other ports and airports, Ellis Island will cease to function as the central port of entry to the United States. The island was first used in 1892 as a docking point for new immigrants beginning in 1892. By 1907, its use peaked at more than 5,000 immigrants per day. Ellis Island played an enormous role in the history of Jewish immigration to the United States. The Jewish section on the island was run by the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, which helped to facilitate the process for the immigrants.

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