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Jewish Mobsters and Their Mothers

Jewish mothers sacrificed for their children, but they expected something in return. One of their requests was that their sons sei Yidden (be Jews) and maintain a connection with the Jewish community. At least during their mothers’ lifetime, a goodly number of these tough Jewish mobsters obeyed. Detroit mobster Harry Kasser told me in a 1986 conversation that he attended synagogue on the High Holidays solely to please his mother.

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On the balance between admiration and friendship. A writer strikes up an email relationship with the author he most admires, Leonard Michaels: In his work Lenny exhibited incisiveness, self-awareness, and control, and yet in life he sometimes appeared to me to be innocently childlike. He was often very emotionally candid. He talked freely and unguardedly […]

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Roger Fidler was a head of innovation for Knight-Ridder who convinced his company to let him set up a lab in the early 1990s to explore the creation of tablet computers. They were next door to a lab owned by Apple: Fidler smiles through a scruffy gray Jobsian beard. He has known the answer for […]