Jewish-American organized crime was not exclusively a New York phenomenon, however, as seen during the early 20th century in other major cities with a considerable Jewish-American population as predominantly Jewish-American gangs operated as well, such as The Purple Gang in Detroit.
Jewish American organized crime was a reflection of the ethnic succession among gangsters, which has tended to follow the immigrant waves in the United States: English, German, Irish, Jewish and then Italian. Ethnic involvement in organized crime gave rise to alien conspiracy theories in the US law enforcement community, in which the conception of organized crime as an alien and united entity was vital. It was presented as many-faced, calculating and relentlessly probing for weak spots in the armour of American morality. America had to be protected from this alien threat. The conspiracy theories conveniently ignored the fact that Jewish-American and Italian-American criminals generally co-existed with (even sometimes subordinate to) other criminals, such as Irish-American organized crime networks before the 1920s.
Jewish American organized crime is part of an entire literature, particularly in the United States, on "tough Jews," mainly gangsters and boxers among whom Jews played a prominent role, often to the delight - even pride - of other Jews, especially Jewish men, who considered them tougher, more aggressive role models to free them from the stigma of defenselessness and powerlessness and the dominant Jewish stereotype: intellectualism and professional legitimacy, not physical aggressiveness and lawlessness, which was more stereotypical of the Irish and Italian immigrants and their mobs. According to Rich Cohen, author of Tough Jews: Fathers, Sons and Gangster Dreams: "if Jewish gangsters still thrived today, if they hadn't gone legit, if Jews of my generation didn't regard them as figments, creatures to be classed with Big Foot and the Loch Ness monster, I think the Jewish community would be better off.
Following Cohen's line of reasoning, one could say that Jewish American organized crime played a role in the emancipation of the Jewish American community in American society. However, Cohen's description of Jewish gangsters ignores that they were criminals who made their money by extorting and exploiting other Jews, including trafficking in Jewish women, and were generally considered a scourge within the community. The Yiddish press and literature of the 1920s and 30s was resolute in its condemnation of Jewish mobsters.
For both second-generation Jewish and Italian immigrants, the lure of crime often competed quite successfully with mainstream opportunities. There was a Jewish "crime wave" in early-20th-century New York. About a sixth of the city's felony arrests were Jews. Many young Jewish criminals gravitated toward the "rackets," where they met up with the children of Irish, Italian, and other immigrants.
As the 20th century progressed, Jewish-American mobsters such as "Dopey" Benny Fein and Joe "The Greaser" Rosenzweig entered labour racketeering, hiring out to both businesses and labor unions as strong arm men. Labor racketeering or "labor slugging" as it was known, would become a source of conflict as it came under the domination of several racketeers including former Five Points Gang members Nathan "Kid Dropper" Kaplan and Johnny Spanish during the Labor slugger wars until its eventual takeover by Jacob "Gurrah" Shapiro in 1927. Other organized crime figures would include Moses Annenberg and Arnold Rothstein, the latter reportedly responsible for fixing the 1919 World Series.
According to crime writer Leo Katcher, Arnold Rothstein "transformed organized crime from a thuggish activity by hoodlums into a big business, run like a corporation, with himself at the top. According to Rich Cohen, Rothstein was the person who first saw in Prohibition a business opportunity, a means to enormous wealth, who "understood the truths of early century capitalism (hypocrisy, exclusion, greed) and came to dominate them". Rothstein was the Moses of the Jewish gangsters, according to Cohen, the progenitor, a rich man's son who showed the young hoodlums of the Bowery how to have style; indeed, the man who, the Sicilian-American gangster Lucky Luciano would later say, "taught me how to dress".
During this time, Italian mobster Charlie Luciano began plotting against the Old World Sicilian mafiosi and, enlisting the help of longtime associates Meyer Lansky and Benjamin Siegel, a conference was held at New York's Franconia Hotel on November 11, 1931 which included mobsters such as Jacob Shapiro, Louis "Lepke" Buchalter, Joseph "Doc" Stacher, Hyman "Curly" Holtz, Louis "Shadows" Kravitz, Harry Tietlebaum, Philip "Little Farvel" Kovolick and Harry "Big Greenie" Greenberg. During this meeting, Luciano and Lansky were able to convince the Jewish-American mobsters to agree to work with Italian mobsters in business following the end of the Castellammarese War – in a consortium known as the National Crime Syndicate. At the meeting's conclusion, "Bugsy" Siegel supposedly declared "The yids and the dagos will no longer fight each other."
Those Jewish gangsters hostile to the idea of cooperation with non-Jewish rivals gradually receded, most notably Philadelphia bootlegger Waxey Gordon, who was convicted and imprisoned for tax evasion. Following Gordon's imprisonment, his operations were assumed by Nig Rosen and Max "Boo Hoo" Hoff.
Under Lansky, Jewish mobsters became involved in syndicate gambling interests in Cuba and Las Vegas. Buchalter would also lead the predominantly Jewish Murder Incorporated as the Luciano-Meyer syndicate's exclusive hitmen.
Jewish-American organized crime derived from dislocation and poverty, where language and custom made the community vulnerable to undesirables, the sort of thing that fosters criminality among any other ethnicity in a similar situation. As Jews improved their conditions, the Jewish thug and racketeer either disappeared or merged into a more assimilated American crime environment. American Jews quietly buried the public memory of the gangster past; unlike the Mafia, famous Jewish American gangsters like Meyer Lansky, Dutch Schultz and Bugsy Siegel founded no crime families.
Much like Irish Americans and other ethnicities (with exception to Italian American criminal organizations), Jewish-American presence in organized crime gradually faded after World War II. Jewish-American individuals remained associated with organized crime figures, but the criminal organizations and gangs which once rivaled the Italian and Irish-American mobsters during the first half of the 20th century have long since disappeared.
Israeli mobsters also have a presence in the United States. Yehuda “Johnny” Attias arrived in New York in 1987 and immediately made himself known by slaying a local heroin kingpin, another Israeli named Moussan Alyian. He and his crew became heavily involved in drug trafficking, making millions through importing heroin from Amsterdam and Thailand as well as hashish from Turkey. They also pulled off the biggest gold heist in the history of Manhattan's jewelery district, getting away with over $4 million in gold jewelery. However Attias was ultimately murdered in January 1990, and New York's Israeli mafia fell apart soon after. Several members such as Ron Gonen had turned informant and the authorities arrested the rest of the gang in September of that year.
The Israeli mafia (such as the Abergil crime family) is heavily involved in ecstasy trafficking in America and were allegedly the suppliers to former Gambino crime family underboss Sammy Gravano in his Arizona drug ring. Gravano's main drug supplier was New York based Israeli mobster, Ilan Zarger.
Impact of a Well-Organized Collaborative Team Approach on Mortality in Patients with ST-Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction/ Iyi Planlanmis Ekip Yaklasiminin ST-Yukselmeli Miyokart Enfarktuslu Hastalarin Mortalitesine Etkisi
Dec 01, 2010; ABSTRACT Objective: Fibrinolytic therapy remains a legitimate option for many patients presenting with acute ST-segment elevation...