To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.
“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 author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).
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The “Media” didn’t want us to know what a kind, giving, loving young woman Dalia was.
A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.
Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165
Israel’s Temple Mount policy prefers to blames the Jews-not the attackers-for the crisis.
When Islam conquered the Holy Land, it made its capital in Ramle of all places, not in Jerusalem.
I joined the large crowd but this time it was more personal; my cousin Aryeh was one of the victims.
Terrorists aren’t driven by social, economic, or other grievances, rather by a fanatical worldview.
The phrase that the “Arabs are resorting to violence” is disgraceful and blames the victim.
Tuesday, Yom Shlishi, a doubly good day in the Torah, Esav’s hands tried to silence Yaakov’s voice.
Because of the disparate nature of the perpetrators, who are also relatively young, and given the lack of more traditional targets and the reverence Palestinians have for their homes, one now hears talk of Israel returning to a policy of destroying the houses of terrorists’ families.
In any event, the Constitution gives Congress what is popularly described as the “power of the purse” – that is, the power to raise revenues through taxation and to decide how the money should be sent.
It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…
You can’t say “Jewish French,” “Jewish British,” “Jewish Italian.” They are “French Jews,” “British Jews,” and “Italian Jews” – because they’re seen as Jews first and residents or citizens of their countries second.
The reality is that civility is less important than clarity, and right now only very few people on the Left are interested in having a civil conversation about the merits of particular policy solutions.
Rabinovich is the author of several popular books on Israel’s wars, including The Battle for Jerusalem, The Yom Kippur War, and The Boats of Cherbourg.
I think Seth Lipsky is amazing, but it just drives home the point that newspapers have a lot of moving parts.
Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?
If you remember, in 2006, a Jewish kid in Paris, Ilan Halimi, was abducted, beaten, and held hostage for three weeks… These are the kinds of people attending these Gaza solidarity rallies.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/author-lectures-on-jewish-bigamists-murderers-and-thieves/2009/10/28/
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