Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Jews Of Sing Sing

from author Ron Arons' site for his book
Nationally known scholar Ron Arons tells the true story of Jewish gangsters and other shady characters who served time “up the [Hudson] river” and the NY Jewish community’s response. Ron did not choose the book’s topic. Instead, it was beshert (the Jewish equivalent of the English word ‘fate,’ literally, ‘meant to be’).
Years ago Arons learned that one of his ancestors served a ‘stretch’ at the famous prison. Ron first wrote a manuscript about his criminal ancestor and his ancestor’s father, a rabbi who also found trouble, only to be told by the publishing world that “it did not need another memoir.” Thinking creatively out of the box one day, Ron decided to research and write a book about every Jew who was ever behind bars at the Big House. Little did Arons understand the enormity of the topic he would undertake, which until now has not been covered with any intellectual rigor. The result: a 350-page book providing biographies of more than a dozen famous gangsters and lesser-known criminals and painting a broad canvas of Jewish criminality in New York City.

A Canadian NPR interview with Ron Arons provides the audio for the above slide show. The images come from the outstanding work of Pat Hamou at the six for five blogspot
Six For Five, the blog, is intended as companion piece for a work in progress book of the same name and anecdotes related to the main theme of the material. All comments, questions, historical corrections are most welcomed.

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