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An appeal for Help

My dearest friends of the Forward,

I appeal to you for help, since I have no better comrades than the workers.

I have been jobless for six months now. I have eaten the last shirt on my back and now there is nothing left for me but to end my life. I have struggled long enough in the dark world. Death is better than such a life. One goes about with strong hands, one wants to sell them for a bit of bread, and no one wants to buy. They tell you cold-bloodedly: “We don’t need you.” Can you imagine how heartsick one gets?

I get up at four in the morning to hunt a job through the newspaper. I have no money for carfare, so I go on foot, but by the time I get to the place there are hundreds before me. Then I run wherever my eyes lead me. Lately I’ve spent five cents a day on food, and the last two days I don’t have even that. I have no strength to go on.

I am an ironworker… [Here the writer talks about the circumstances in Russia that led him to come to America.]

If I had known it would be so bitter for me here, I wouldn’t have come. I didn’t come here for a fortune, but where is bread? What can I do now? I ask you, comrades. I beg you to help me in my dire need. Do not let a man die a horrible death.

Answer: This is one of hundreds of heartrending pleas for help, cries of need, that we receive daily. The writer of this letter is told to go first to the Crisis Conference at 133 Eldridge Street, New York, and they will not let him starve. And further we ask our readers to let us know if someone can create a job for this unemployed man.

From A Bintel Brief: Letters to the Jewish Daily Forward by Isaac Metzker, translated by Isaac Metzker, copyright 1971 by Isaac Metzker. Foreword and notes copyright 1971 by Doubleday, a division of Bantam, Doubleday, Dell Publishing Group, Inc. p. 76.
JWA use only on
Date / time
March 22, 1905
Metzker, Isaac
Metzker, Isaac
A Bintel Brief
Date published
March 22, 1905

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "An appeal for Help." (Viewed on March 1, 2015) <>.


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