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Culture

March 7, 2003

100 YEARS AGO

• A strike like no other has broken out in Omaha, Neb. The small Jewish community is up in arms since the Shabbat goyim have gone on strike, demanding an increase in their wages. The Shabbat goyim, who light the gas and turn on the ovens for the Jews, decided that 10 cents per Sabbath was not enough and demanded a raise to 15 cents. If not, they say, “the Jews can eat cold kugel!” Last Saturday was bitterly cold, and the Jewish community could only find one shaygetz who was willing to do the job. But he took off after the strikers roughed him up. The community finally decided to call a meeting and settle the strike, offering an undisclosed sum.

75 YEARS AGO

• For the first time ever, the Bund will have deputies in the Polish parliament. Bundist leaders Henrik Ehrlich and Victor Alter have both been elected. The Bund received about 20,000 votes in Warsaw and 15,000 in Lodz. The election results for other Jewish parties were not so rosy. The Labor-Zionists failed to get a single seat and the Folkist-Agudat Yisrael bloc landed only one. On the other hand, the General Zionists, who participated in a National Minorities Bloc together with Ukrainians and Belorussians managed to get a significantly larger number of seats.

• The Essex Market Courthouse looked like a traditional rabbinic court yesterday: Bearded rabbis carrying heavy tomes walked about, as did women in long dresses and wigs. They were there to attend the case of Weintraub v. Sosover. Mrs. Sarah Weintraub of Delancey Street brought a suit against Lower East Side Rabbi Sosover for forcing her to divorce her husband against her will so he could marry another woman, one Esther Gelman of Harlem. Rabbi Sosover is already a regular in the Essex Market Courthouse. Just a few weeks ago he tried to sue a Rivington Street Talmud Torah for firing him. But since the judge couldn’t figure out either side’s complaints, he threw the case out.

50 YEARS AGO

• Stalin is dead! It has been reported from Moscow that Joseph Stalin, leader of the Soviet Union for the past 30 years is dead. “The heart of Comrade Stalin has ceased to beat,” announced the official Soviet report, “The death of Comrade Stalin, a man who gave his entire life to serve the cause of communism is a terrible loss to the Party, to the workers of Soviet Russia and to the entire world.” It is being reported that Stalin suffered a massive stroke in his residence at the Kremlin. The Forward responded with “woohoo!” The Freiheit was unavailable for comment.

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