Aug 18, 2013

Not The Jew

Lately prejudice, specifically racism, has been in the news. The Trayvon Martin case even got Oprah to bitch about the clerk balking at handing her the $38,000.00 purse, she had to settle for a $10,000 purse. An article in The Morning Call about a reunion of Hess Brothers employees brings me to one of my blog ideas never written. I believe that anti-semitism helped numerous businesses thrive in Allentown. I can tell you that as a Jew growing up in Allentown, that there was no lack of anti-semitism, it comes easy for the Pennsylvania Dutch Germans. I can also tell you that as a customer there was no reason to go the Leh's or Zollinger's, other than they weren't the Jew. I've met business people who prided themselves on never having worked for Max Hess Jr. I met business people who after learning the business from Hess, went out on their own, and still called him a Jew. If Hess wasn't a Jew, and merchants had to compete with his merchandizing skills without getting some business due to anti-Semitism,  there would have been fewer businesses on Hamilton Street.

8 comments:

LVCI said...

It should also be mentioned that Allentown was the center of a huge textile industry that employed 1,000's. They were mostly owned by Jewish men. In 1928 there were about 140 such silk & textile mills. Without the textile industry stores never would have evolved to what they were nor Allentown what it once was for that matter. I'd venture to say that the Jewish owners were by far the largest employers in Allentown at one time.

A lot of people may not realize it but some Jewish synagogues provided financing for some of these upstarts. This was long before Christian churches began offering loans like they are doing today. Some of my fellow retirees say they are getting larger returns on these then on other shares they hold in the stock market.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, yeah, I know.

Germans suck.

But, then again, so do ALL white people --- or so at least I am constantly told by the Lame Stream Media.

There is no doubt in my mind that an Italian girl who won't show Queen Oprah a $ 38,000 handbag in a store located in Switzerland proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that all of America is racist.

It's just the way the country, eh, ah, cookie crumbles.

Respectfully,

ROLF OELER

michael molovinsky said...

Rolf@1:14, you're correct, anti-semitism certainly isn't limited to pennsylvania dutch, it's wide spread, international. but, i was referring to hess's in allentown, and my own frame of reference.

when i first heard the oprah story, i thought of julia roberts on rodale drive in pretty lady. i believe that oprah was more victimized by classism, than racism, in that incident.

Anonymous said...

MM -

"Pretty Woman", like the Roy Orbison song.

By the way, I think Leh's was the only one of the three that carried the official Boy Scout accessories.

michael molovinsky said...

@2:28, you're correct about the boy scout department. two reasons to shop at leh's, it not the jew and boy scout accessories. even their advertising looked 1940's

Anonymous said...

And the Little Shopper's Shop.

I actually remember being taken to all three stores and my Mom getting most (if not all) of the Holiday shopping done. Variety and options...great days in Allentown

Anonymous said...

This year I had a Jewish friend ask me, frankly, if anyone in the Lehigh Valley or Allentown had ever referred to me as an "uppity Negro?" I am sure they have and may have said much worse under their breath and among their associates. I guess the problem is I just won't die and leave well enough alone. Especially after a a lost election. When will I EVER learn how to stay in my place? :)

Alfonso Todd
www.prolifick.com

Anonymous said...

Will some people EVER cease playing the Race Card?

What a bunch of victims.

When I go to a party and it is obvious (or I least believe it to be) that I am neither wanted nor welcome there ...

... I leave immediately and go to ANOTHER party!!!

America sucks SOOOOOOO bad --- but yet NO ONE even contemplates leaving the country ... EVER!!!

(Canada, just for example, is populated by an overwhelming majority of people who speak English and has Obamacare for a quite some time)

Meanwhile, I can't make it ten feet down any street here in The City Without (Spending?) Limits without being called a "White Boy". I must admit some of the people referring to me as such are, in fact, my friends. But I still always think back to Dr. Martin Luther King talking about a "COLOR-BLIND society" in his famous "I Have A Dream Speech" and can't help but laugh.

Amazing how it all shakes out here in the Land Of The Brave, is it not?

Sincerely,

RO