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Culture

June 13, 2003

100 YEARS AGO

• The spirit of Hirsh Lekert lives. A Jewish woman by the name of Grunskin was arrested for being a member of an underground revolutionary organization and brought before Chief Novitski, the officer responsible for the Kiev gendarmerie. Novitski is well known among the Kiev revolutionaries for his sadism, and more than one political prisoner has committed suicide rather than suffer his tortures. After Grunskin was seated in the dock and asked a few questions, she pulled out a knife and slashed Novitski’s throat, wounding him lightly.

75 YEARS AGO

• If you live on the Lower East Side, in the Bronx, in Williamsburg or Boro Park, you surely must have noticed how, in recent days, thousands of shtreimlekh, capotes, caftans and long beards with curled earlocks. This type of dress wasn’t seen in the early years of immigration. In those days, the rabbis trimmed their beards and wore stove-pipe hats. This was America, after all, and they were living in the 20th century, so they threw out their old-fashioned clothing. But in the last few years, the Middle Ages have made a comeback in the Jewish quarter.

• In the past 10 years, Jews have become serious contenders in the boxing world. Jewish boxing champs may seem like a recent phenomenon, but the history books indicate that more than 200 years ago, the best prize fighter in England was one Daniel Mendoza, a Sephardic Jew whose father, a wine merchant by the name of Yitzhak, left Portugal in 1758 and settled in London. During his 20-year career in the ring, Mendoza only lost twice.

50 YEARS AGO

• Israeli police have uncovered a den of Jewish terrorists, although the group’s name has not been given to the press. It is known, however, that these terrorists, who were in possession of a cache of weapons, were arrested previously and known as the Brit Kana’im, or the Alliance of Zealots. It is alleged that the money they used to purchase arms was obtained through robberies. In addition, they have bombed bookstores selling Soviet publications and once tried to attack the Israeli Ministry of Education.

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