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Culture

August 27, 2004

100 YEARS AGO

• When Ida Bukhovitsh arrived on Ellis Island two months ago, one Mendl Sheinfeld, whom she knew from her town in Russia, met her. Sheinfeld signed for her, saying he was her cousin and that he would help her find work. He then took her back to his Lower East Side apartment, where his wife, Rebecca, robbed her of 60 rubles. Not long thereafter, Sheinfeld raped Bukhovitsh and then sold her for $50 to Albert Goldstein, who took her to Baltimore and locked her in a house. After a few days, Bukhovitsh managed to escape and return to New York, where she went to the police and reported the incidents. Mendl and Rebecca Sheinfeld, as well as Albert Goldstein, are currently in jail and awaiting trial.

75 YEARS AGO

• Approximately 75 Jews were killed this week when a large-scale pogrom took place throughout Palestine. Savage attacks resulting in the hundreds of dead and wounded took place in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Tsfat and other locales. The worst butchery, however, occurred in Hebron, where approximately 45 young yeshiva students, among them a number of American citizens, were slaughtered by Arab mobs. Tel Aviv was attacked on two sides, and six were killed, but the Jews of the city defended themselves heroically. Jerusalem looks like a battlefield: Entrances to the city were shut while British airplanes flew constantly overhead. At least 16 Jews were killed in Jerusalem. Arabs also attacked Bet Shean, where one Jew was killed, more than 20 were wounded and nearly every Jewish home was destroyed. There have been attacks against Jews in nearly every area in which they can be found. To avoid attacks, residents vacated some of the Jewish suburbs surrounding Jerusalem. The British Mandate government, which has made attempts to combat the Arab mobs in some locales, was sharply criticized for failing to stanch the violence, which is still going on.

50 YEARS AGO

• Knesset members from all political parties took part in an intense debate over a law that would give religious functionaries complete jurisdiction relating to issues of marriage and divorce, as well as other religious matters. One of Mapam’s representatives argued that the law gave rabbis a monopoly on a variety of issues and that it was the first step to a theocratic regime. Ada Maimon, a representative of Mapai, argued that the new law discriminates against women, doesn’t allow female rabbis or judges, and doesn’t require rabbis to swear their loyalty to the country. She also said that the law was a national mistake. Knesset members from religious parties argued that the laws relating to marriage and divorce were better for individuals than in other democracies.

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