The Lower East Side of New York
Jewish Life in America

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Mass Meeting and Resolution of Protest Follow Parade.

From The New-York Daily Tribune, December 5, 1905.


Probably nowhere was the observance of the special day of mourning yesterday by the Jews for their Russian brethren more noteworthy than the procession of their kinsmen on the East Side. Services were held in all Jewish houses of worship.

To the sounds of muffled drums and funeral marches played softly by numerous bands, 125,000 Russian Jews paraded through the streets of the lower East Side and along Broadway. The parade was followed by a mass meeting at Union Square.

The demonstration, which was under the direction of the Jewish Defense Association, was the greatest of its character ever given in this city.

Though the dead for whom they mourned were lying miles away, the procession took on every form of a funeral cortege; the tears, the lamentations, the hysteria of a funeral cortege were all in evidence. Every tenement and every store in the Ghetto was draped in black, and on many of them appeared inscriptions, such as "We mourn our loss" and "Reverence for our murdered brethren." Every shop was closed from noon until 6 o'clock in the evening.

There were in line nearly one hundred organizations, labor, charitable, socialistic and Zionist, some of them wore uniforms. Along the route of march were packed at least as many as participated in the parade. Every foot of sidewalk space was occupied, and every window and fire escape was filled. On all sides were weeping women and children, and not a few men were there who shed tears, some of them for their own relatives.

There was nowhere any attempt at interference with the mourners, and even the 1,000 policemen, afoot and mounted, who were assigned to the procession, inured as they are to pathetic scenes, were apparently moved by the solemnity of the occasion.

Only once was there anything like disorder, and that of momentary duration. When the parade reached Union Square crowds on the sidewalks, in trying to gain a point of vantage, burst through the line, and for a time broke up the alignment of the first division. Order was promptly restored by the mounted policemen.

There were eight divisions in line. The first division formed in Rutgers Square and the others in the several streets leading to it. The start was made at 12:30 o'clock. At the head of the procession, following a squad of mounted police, marched the Jewish Theatrical Musical Union, playing Chopin's Funeral March, then came the Choristers' Union, the Boy Synagogue Union and the Downtown Cantors' Association. They sang "For them we weep."

There was also in line a company of Zion Guards, in blue uniform, almost like that of the National Guard, and carrying rifles reversed. Every parader wore on his sleeve a band of mourning, and all the flags were likewise draped with crepe. While the number of American flags borne in a line predominated, there were many black banners, on which appeared the white six-pointed star of Israel. There were also about five thousand Jewish ex-soldiers of the Russian army and the Manhattan Rifles.

More than six thousand Williamsburg Hebrews, after holding prayers in front of half a dozen synagogues, marched across the Williamsburg Bridge and joined in the parade of their brethren of the East Side. When the procession reached the Williamsburg Bridge Police Captain Hayes refused to let it pass over the north roadway, but made the marchers go over the structure by way of the footpath, which is in the centre of the structure. It was feared that the presence of so many persons on one side of the bridge might strain it.

The parade made three stops, at the Synagogue Beth Hamedresh Hagodel, in Norfolk-st., over which congregation the late Chief Rabbi Josephs presided; at the First Rumanian-American congregation's synagogue, in Rivington-st., and at the Synagogue of the Congregation Adath Jesch, in Eldridge-st. At each of these places the mourners stopped, while the women and boys of the Choristers' Union sang the "Kaddash" for their co-religionists in Russia. Traffic on Broadway suffered considerable delay when the procession reached that thoroughfare.

It was a tremendous throng that listened to the speeches in Union Square, in which the Russian government was scored for its indifference to the massacre of the Jews. Resolutions were adopted condemning the massacres and calling upon this and other governments to protest against them.

Jewish Committee Will Continue Work for Russian Brothers.

It was decided yesterday at a meeting held at Temple Emanu-El, by the national committee for the relief of the Jews in Russia, to raise at least $1,000,000 more for relief. A motion to this end was made by Herman Rosenthal and passed with applause.

In his opening speech Oscar S. Straus, chairman of the executive committee, expressed the fear that the outrages on the Jews in Russia were not yet at an end, as disquieting reports indicated, Mr. Straus said:

I had hoped that this meeting would be our last, but I fear it will not be. Although over $1,000,000 has been collected for our co-religionists, no offering that could be made is sufficient, or can be sufficient.

Jacob H. Schiff, treasurer of the committee, reported that he had forwarded 200,000 by cable to Lord Rothschild, in London. Since the reported completion of the first $1,000,000, the committee has received $35,000. Mr. Schiff will be able to send an additional 10,000.

It was learned yesterday that E. H. Harriman was the anonymous contributor of $10,000 last Saturday. His name appeared on the daily list as "Donor."

Secretary Sulzberger, in his report of the collection of $1,000,000, said of that amount $430,833.86 was the New-York contributions, representing about 55,000 contributors. Of this, $66,000 came from non-Jewish sources. In fact, about 20 per cent of the grand total was given by Christians.

Chicago was second on the list, with $84,608; Philadelphia third, with contributions amounting to $60,608, and Boston, fourth, with $20,025.

The total of additional contributions yesterday was $7,955.02. Cornelius N. Bliss sent his check for $250.


Special services of mourning were held last night in several places of worship. In the Norfolk-st. synagogue, the Rev. Drs. Mendes, Klein and Nasliansky delivered addresses. Other services held were in Temple Emanu-El, where the Rev. Drs. Silverman, De Sola Mendes, Harris, Grossman and Moses spoke, also Oscar Straus, ex-Minister to Turkey, and Louis Marshal; in the East 85th-st. synagogue, where the Rev. Drs. Asher, Drauchman and Caplan spoke, and in the 114th St. synagogue, where the Rev. Drs. Morais and Greenfield spoke.

Meetings were also held at several halls and theatres. A collection was taken at each meeting. At the Kalich Theatre an old woman presented a purse containing 15 cents, which, she said, was all the money she had. The audience was affected by the incident, and the purse and contents were auctioned off for $15. Many diamond rings and other valuables were literally thrown on the stage in the meeting. All the synagogues and theatres were crowded.







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