Across Israel, Meir Panim responds to the growing needs of the country’s 1.75 million impoverished residents through various food and social service programs.
“It’s part of our history,” author Ron Arons told The Jewish Press. “Just to say we have hundreds of Nobel Prize winners ignores the fact that we have problems too.”
Last Thursday, Arons spoke to several dozens of mostly senior citizens at the Lower East Side’s Educational Alliance about his book, published last year, The Jews of Sing Sing (Barricade Books).
Sing Sing, a maximum-security prison in upstate New York, saw over 6,000 Jews pass through its doors between 1880 and 1950. Grand larceny, burglary, and robbery accounted for 70 percent of the Jewish prisoners’ crimes, but Sing Sing’s Jews also committed such offenses as homicide, arson, and counterfeiting. Forty-one Jewish criminals died in Sing Sing’s electric chair.
Arons stumbled on the world of Jewish criminality accidentally when, in the course of researching family history, he discovered his great-grandfather had served four years in Sing Sing for bigamy. “I could not believe my eyes,” Arons writes about seeing his great-grandfather’s 1897 prison admission record.
Arons said he is still “somewhat shocked” by the discovery but said he feels no shame by his forbear’s transgressions. “It has no reflection on me as far as I’m concerned. You can’t pick your parents, much less your great-grandparents. I had nothing to do with it.”
Nor does Arons worry much about the image of Jews his book projects. “Every immigrant group has a criminal element to it, so to say we didn’t have it is just ignorant To be elitist and claim we only did good things brings on anti-Semitism. To say we’re more like other people I think actually reduces anti-Semitism.”
The crowd at Arons’s lecture seemed to agree with his sentiments. One local woman, Grace Cohen, told The Jewish Press, “As a volunteer for the Fortune Society I work with young people who’ve come out of prison. They’re primarily Hispanics and African Americans, and you start to think, ‘Well, it’s only the African Americans and the Hispanics who are in prison.’ But it’s not true. Look at what we’ve learned today.”
Another local woman who preferred to remain anonymous concurred. “It’s nice to know that we’re not angels, that we’re just like other people.” She acknowledged she “personally could have lived without [the information],” but at the end of the day, “it’s a fact of life. You cannot hide it.”
About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and holds a Masters degree from Yeshiva University’s Bernard Revel School of Jewish Studies.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
“Here I was, dressed as a clown with a red rubber nose, and I had to go out with my M16 for a security check,” Singer says. “That was truly a bizarre experience.”
The Drama Mamas are not an ordinary theater troupe. “When we audition actresses,” says Elisheva, who also serves as the show’s director, “we like to explain to them that the main qualification is that you can honestly say, I have never been on a stage before, but I have always wanted to be an actress!”
Under the plan, a person who was not a citizen of either the Jewish or Arab state was to be appointed governor to administer Jerusalem and to conduct external affairs…
The haredim are not afraid of connecting Israeli nationalism to its faith. Just the opposite. They are afraid to connect the Jewish faith to the Israeli nationalism reawakening in Israel.
While Brooklyn College is famed for its plethora of Jewish professors and students, it is not a Jewish institution. The 92nd Street Y is. According to its own mission and history statement, it’s “a proudly Jewish institution since its inception.”
I was singing, dancing, jumping and, sweating. Just joy and happiness. One child on my shoulders after another. What happiness! And then, the little boy on my shoulders – he could not have been older than six – began to cry.
Alcohol on Purim is viewed by many as the drinking equivalent of the Autobahn: no limits, no control.
Why not tell us that Purim is to be commemorated with reading the megillah, dispensing mishloach manot, giving gifts to the poor, and partaking in a Purim feast?
At the core of traditional Judaism is the belief that our world has a Creator. This Creator knows all that goes on in our world, and remains actively involved in all of its events – no matter how insignificant some of those events might seem.
Make no mistake: the potential here is enormous. If all of these budget items are approved, they could be a game changer for Jewish day schools and their budgets.
There are those who believe all Israelis must share equally in the military defense of Israel while others say Torah study affords at least as much security as military service. In many respects, The Jewish Press has long reflected this dynamic.
Mr. Obama’s latest “amendment” of the Obamacare law, however, has elevated the arrogation of legislative power to an art form. And he has done so for blatantly political reasons.
What do at-risk youth and more than 30,000 square feet of groceries have in common? The answer is Moisha Binik.
Halpert doesn’t know why he was fired, and YU apparently won’t explain
There’s also the issue of accusing the Jews of being excessively materialistic and exploitative of non-Jews. You see a lot of that in far-left propaganda – that the Jews are overwhelmingly concentrated in the petty bourgeoisie, which in itself is an archaic class form, and thrives on tricking people and squeezing money out of them through illicit methods of trade.
Recently dubbed “the greatest living figure of chassidic music” by NPR, Shenker still composes several new pieces every year. He is currently recording an album of some of his Haggadah compositions, which he hopes will be out before Pesach.
Schanzer, who holds a doctorate from King’s College London, is currently vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and has testified before Congress on Middle East affairs on several occasions.
We want to hire couples who are going to reach out to singles to become their spiritual leaders and introduce them to someone of the opposite gender because there’s a lot of casual relationships but not nearly enough serious dating going on. This generation – even if they had rebbeim in yeshiva or seminary – they’re not connected anymore. There isn’t really anyone looking out for them at this point.
The 100 divrei Torah in this book originally appeared online and were distributed via e-mail. Unsurprisingly, therefore, many of them address contemporary issues. For example, on Parshat Mishpatim (and elsewhere), Rabbi Angel berates Israel’s chief rabbis and others for making life increasingly difficult for would-be converts to Judaism. On Parshat Vayigash, Rabbi Angel scolds 40 Israeli rabbis who signed a proclation prohibiting Jews from selling land in Israel to non-Jews.
All these polls asked either “Do you agree that Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians?” or, alternatively, “Do you agree Israel behaves toward the Palestinians like the Nazis do?”
For his latest book, City College’s William Helmreich walked 120,960 blocks – in other words, nearly every block of New York’s five boroughs.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/author-lectures-on-jewish-bigamists-murderers-and-thieves/2009/10/28/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: