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February 2, 2007

100 Years Ago In the Forward

The first Yiddish theater school has opened its doors in New York City on East Broadway. Run by M.J. Lavrovsky, a graduate of the Moscow School of Drama, the Titakoni Drama School offers courses in acting, singing, dancing, elocution, physical culture and more, all taught by experienced performers from the Yiddish stage. Offering class at popular prices, talented students will also be pleased to know that the school has created a theater company that will provide venues and opportunities for its students to perform. Any young, talented aspiring performer should consider honing his or her talents at the school.


75 Years Ago In the Forward

The University of Vienna has been forcibly shut down after numerous attacks on Jewish students by Nazi-fascist students. A university spokesman said that an investigative committee was being created to find and punish the hooligans that have been attacking the school’s Jewish-student population. The attacks began during a lecture in the university’s auditorium by a Jewish professor, Kaminko; they continued for two days. A number of Jewish students were beaten so badly that they had to be admitted to local area hospitals. Some were shielded from attacks by hiding in the offices of friendly professors.

Every night, at 7:45, everyone turns their radio dials to NBC. Why? “The Goldbergs” is on. Bubbe and zayde listen in. So do mama and papa, and the kids, as well. With everyone gathered in the living room, huddled around the radio, Jewish families are quietly listening to their favorite show. And not only is it their favorite show, but higher-ups at NBC say that everyone listens to “The Goldbergs”: from laborers to intellectuals, poor and rich, young and old, Jews and Christians. The reason for the show’s popularity, it seems, has nothing to do with the fact that it’s about an American Jewish family. Instead it is owed to the element of “suspense”: Everyone wants to know what will happen next, so they tune in each day to find out.


50 Years Ago In the Forward

The 6,000-strong Jewish community of Caracas, Venezuela, is profiled in the Forward. It’s a young community, with most of its members having arrived only over the past 20 years. Nonetheless, tombstones tell tales, and there are graves in Caracas that are more than 300 years old, mostly containing Jews who arrived from such nearby islands as Curacao. Today’s Jewish community still has some of the old Sephardic families, but the majority are Yiddish-speaking Polish Jews. Their culture dominates, and one can hear Yiddish wherever there are Jews.


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