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"Jew Gangster": In the Summer of 1933, Brooklyn teenager Reuben "Ruby" Kaplan grows tired of living in poverty with his Polish immigrant family. Ditching school, Ruby starts doing small errands at the local pool hall for gangster Monk Greenberg, earning more money in a day than his father does i



Appearing in "Jew Gangster"

Featured Characters:

  • Reuben "Ruby" Kaplan

Supporting Characters:

  • Monk Greenberg
  • Molly Shapiro, Monk's wife
  • Isaac Kaplan, Ruby's father
  • Mrs. Kaplan, Ruby's mother
  • Rifke Kaplan, Ruby's sister
  • Henry "Heshy" Hymie, one of Ruby's friends
  • Izzy, one of Ruby's friends
  • The Big Guy, head of the gang

Other Characters:

  • Farvel, one of Monk's gangsters
  • Gino, an Italian mobster
  • Nathan Levy, local butcher
  • Pasquale, local baker
  • Mr. Rubenstein, clothing manufacturer
  • Abe, one of Ruby's friends
  • Meyer, owner of the newspaper stand
  • Mr. Cohen, owner of the candy stand

Locations:

  • Brooklyn, New York

Synopsis for "Jew Gangster"

In the Summer of 1933, Brooklyn teenager Reuben "Ruby" Kaplan grows tired of living in poverty with his Polish immigrant family. Ditching school, Ruby starts doing small errands at the local pool hall for gangster Monk Greenberg, earning more money in a day than his father does in a week. Ruby's association with the gangster puts him at odds with his father Isaac, a textile worker and devoutly religious Jew. After several confrontations over the matter, Ruby leaves home, and starts working with Monk full-time while living in the back of the pool hall.

Ruby soon scales up his criminal activities with Monk, from delivering packages, to serving as a lookout while collecting a debt from a butcher, to setting a warehouse on fire, to helping Monk dispose of the body of a baker in the river. As Ruby climbs the ladder in the gang, he starts an affair with Monk's wife, Molly Shapiro. After several months with the gang, Ruby's father passes away from influenza, further widening the distance between Ruby and his family. Ruby also recruits two of his school friends, Heshy and Izzy, to help the gang bust up a picket line, which ultimately leads to Heshy's murder by the Italian Mob.

One night, Ruby receives a call from his mother, telling him that his sister Rifke was beaten and raped. Enraged, Ruby finds Monk at the pool hall, thinking his mentor will help him plot revenge on the rapist. Monk then reveals that he was the one who raped Rifke, as payback for Ruby's affair with Molly. The two gangsters come to blows, and during the struggle, Ruby stabs Monk through the eye with a broke pool cue, killing him.

While in the hospital after his fight with Monk, Ruby is visited by two employees of The Big Guy, the nameless, faceless head of the Jewish gangs, who wishes to speak with Ruby about Monk's death. Scared, Ruby tries to sneak out of the hospital, but is caught by the two gangsters, and brought to the Big Guy. The Big Guy sits Ruby down, and explains to him that he is unhappy that Monk was killed, and that Ruby betrayed his mentor by sleeping with his wife, but admits that Monk went to far in raping Ruby's sister. The Big Guy tries to blackmail Ruby into staying with the gang by bringing in Rifke, but Ruby rebukes him, and tells the Big Guy he's in the gang to stay, but that his family is off limits. Having reached an understanding, the Big Guy sends Ruby and Rifke on their way.

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