When Yiddishe Mamas Rioted Over Kosher Meat

Dedicated to the fierceness of the Lower East Jewish mamas of 1902. If you listen closely when visting the Lower East Side, you can still here the echo of their roar. You can read more of the story here

When the price of meat soared

From 12 to 18 cents a pound, 

Yiddishe mamas from the Lower East come running

Firmly standing their ground. 

Canvassing house to house, 

They convince the neighborhood to riot, 

Smashing windows and doors, forbidding customers to pass,

Nebuch the soul keeping quiet. 

A herd of linebacker Jewish mamas, 

Most mothers of at least four, 

Light meat on fire and throw it in police faces,

As Lower East Side mothers roar.

The New York Times says they’re “a dangerous class”

The Tribune commends the organization of their fervor,

but Frannie and Annie and Mamie and Sara aren’t done yet,

Making calls to join the “great women’s war”.

75 Yiddishe Mamas jailed the first day, 

100 sent to the slammer the next morn,

From Brooklyn to Harlem, more than 20,000(!) return to the street,

Keep down those meat prices,” they warn. 

Approaching the bima on Shabbos, 

The mothers call each shul to fight

Preaching, “If supply and demand is the American way 

We’ll lower the desire, alright!”

Jewish men join the pack, 

Alongside the snarling mothers they see, 

And on May 19, surrounded by Yiddishe fists in the air, 

The Meat Trust falls on their knees. 

“You win, Yiddish Mamas,”

The butchers and Kosher Meat Trust finally concede

And with heads in the air 

And bloody knuckles unclenched,

The mamas return to their stead.