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100 years ago today in Spokane: Spokane raises $10,000 to help starving Jews in Russia

Spokane’s Jewish community raised $10,000 for relief to starving Jews in Russia, Poland and Galicia (near Poland and Ukraine), The Spokesman-Review reported June 13, 1917. (Spokesman-Review archives)
Spokane’s Jewish community raised $10,000 for relief to starving Jews in Russia, Poland and Galicia (near Poland and Ukraine), The Spokesman-Review reported June 13, 1917. (Spokesman-Review archives)

Spokane’s Jewish community raised $10,000 for relief to starving Jews in Russia, Poland and Galicia (near Poland and Ukraine).

The Jews in Galicia, it was said, were being kept alive by only one meagre meal per day, distributed by charity.

In a meeting at Spokane’s Temple Emanu-El, Rabbi J.B. Wise and Ben Selling told the congregation that the Northwest needed to and help.

Wise said that democracy has made the difference between the well-to-do American Jew and the “downtrodden members of the race in eastern Europe.” The American Jew had an obligation to assist in the struggle for democracy in those regions, and “if all did their duty,” he foresaw the “glorious dawn of liberty.”

The Spokane people came through with generosity. Selling said that neither Seattle nor Tacoma had raised $10,000 at a single meeting, and Portland had done so only once.

From the “slacker” beat: Tony Marini, a Great Northern repairman at Hillyard, was facing prosecution for either being a “slacker” (draft evader) or a perjurer.

Marini told liquor authorities he was 21 in order to get a liquor permit. But he later told federal authorities he did not register for the draft because he was only 20.

Prosecutors were trying to determine his real age, but he was in trouble either way.

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