Chapter twelve: the meeting with Lansky

Barouch, now known as Barry was enrolled at the school that was funded by the banker Jacob Schiff.  Barry lived with Frieda in an apartment in uptown New York City which Schiff owned.  Although Schiff was married he visited Frieda for he enjoyed her company.  Before long they were intimate.  That intimacy was done while Barry was in the school that Schiff funded.


The School was the Institute of Jewish Learning located at the heart of the city.  It was in an old matzo factory which had failed.  Schiff held the mortgage on the building and turned it into a school.  He hired a few teachers and had them set up a curriculum.  Aside from Jewish virtues and Torah there was a heavy weight given to Math and Accounting.

Eventually this school was bought out and became the Hillel School.

It was there that Barry met Meyer Lansky.  It was purely by accident.

Like most children there is a pecking order.  The weak are picked on by the strong.  Barry was not weak or strong but he could handle himself.  Meyer was weak and not strong.  He had a brilliant mind and because he got A’s in Math, he was belittled by the toughies of the school.

One day a toughie, Samuel Lefkowitz, pushed him down and was about to clobber him with his fists when Barry intervened.  Barry yelled out a teacher was coming and the group dispersed before any real damage was done to Meyer.  It was at this point the two became friends.  But they needed to recruit a heavy weight into their gang of two.  Bugsy Siegal was a loner with charisma but he could also fight.  He fought dirty.  And that is what was needed for this gang to exist.  Bugsy would be the enforcer and Barry and Meyer would be the brains of the operation.


Meyer had an uncle who ran trucks into New York with merchandise from Canada.  Meyer and Barry developed the routes for the franchise and Bugsy made side money from the enterprise.  He rode in car two miles ahead of the trucks.  They spotted police and border patrols and then would double back to warn the trucks.  Thus, the trucks would get through and deliver their cargo to meeting places in the City.

Smuggled in would be Canadian beef and pigs for bacon.  The Jews were supplying this treif or non-kosher food to the Christian restaurants in the city.  Keeping track of the transactions was Barry and Meyer.  They became the accountants of crime while Bugsy used his brawn.



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