Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Still more on pre-war Orthodox Judaism in America

My review of the archives of the New York Times for evidence of Orthodox Judaism in America prior to WWII continues to yeild surprising results.

I've found, today, that the Orthodox community in NY organized a public memorial service for the Chofetz Chaim at the Tiferes Yisroel Synagouge in Brooklyn on September 25, 1933, ten days after his death. The event was organized by the Kehila Kedosha of Greater New York. [Link]

Given that my commenters are never wrong, I can only assume that the event was ignored and woefully under attended. After all, Bray et al. have insisted that before the war American Orthodox Judaism was dead on the vine. Despite the best effots of the Kehila Kedosha (probably one guy with a typewriter) I must presume the memorial service was a failure.

Whoops! Guess not. An item in the (Jew-hating) paper from the very next day reports that 2500 people attended. I suppose they all were bussed in from Poland.

UPDATE - Some perspective

This event was held in 1933 at the height of the depression when people didn't have cars, or money for subways and cabs. That year the Brooklyn Dodgers had 526,815 paid attendance. The season was 154 games, giving them 77 home games, or an avg of 6800 fans per game.(526,815/77) 6800 people attended the avrg. Brooklyn babseball game that year, yet 2500 Jews were at the CC's public memorial.Not bad. Not bad at all.

Source for Dodgers attendance: http:// www.ballparksofbaseball.c...9attendance.htm

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