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November 17, 2006

100 Years Ago in the Forward

There are currently 632 kosher restaurants in New York’s downtown area alone. Among the cheapest, one can find a dinner in the range of 2 cents to 5 cents, or you can find a kosher place that will charge upwards of 40 cents for a meal. Without exception, none of these places is actually kosher. What’s worse, the meat served at the expensive restaurants, even though it appears nicely garnished on a fancy plate, is usually older and of a cheaper cut than the inexpensive restaurants. Jewish restaurateurs buy their meat at the wholesale butchers and their chickens by the barrel. None of it is slaughtered in the traditional Jewish manner; it’s too time consuming and expensive.

75 Years Ago in the Forward

Forward correspondent Max Weinreich was one of hundreds of victims of a terrible pogrom that occurred in and around Vilna this week. Weinreich, a well-known linguist and pedagogue who is also the head of YIVO, was beaten so badly that he is expected to lose sight in one eye. Among the reports coming in is one that indicates that Jewish self-defense groups were activated shortly after the pogrom began and that a number of antisemitic student demonstrators were wounded. Reporting from Warsaw, writer I.J. Singer also wrote of how the Jewish self-defense groups fought back against the pogromists.

A group of gangsters was arrested this week on racketeering charges. Members included Benjamin (Bugsy) Siegel, Louis Bucholtz, Henry Teitlboim, Jacob Shapiro, Louis Kravatz, Harry Greenberg and Hyman Holtz. The police raid surprised the gang as they were conducting a meeting in a hotel in Manhattan on 72nd Street near Central Park. In addition to racketeering charges, the gangsters are said to have engaged in price fixing in the garment industry as well as in violent attacks on union pickets.

50 Years Ago in the Forward

Following Israel’s stunning victory over Egypt, a meeting of the Arab League was held in Beirut, during which Iraq’s delegate called for the liquidation of the State of Israel and of 1 million Arab refugees settled there. This is a severe departure from what Iraq had considered previously: that there was a possibility they would support the 1947 U.N. Resolution that calls for partition of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states.


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