2020 will no doubt go down in history as not only The Year of the Coronavirus, but also as The Year of the Teardown of Statues. It’s surely only a question of time, then, that our beloved Jewish statues may be targeted for teardown as well. No doubt there exist statues of some of the most famous, beloved Jews, such as Moses, Anne Frank, Harry Houdini, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, Golda Meir, Bob Dylan, Sid Caesar, Neil Simon, Carole King, Jonas Salk, Sandy Koufax, and on and on. So much is already known about these figures, though, that I felt it would be far more interesting to focus on the lesser-known Jews who’ve been memorialized in statue form. Here, then, is a respectful selection of them to enjoy and appreciate before their possible teardown. May their memories be a blessing and may they remain safely standing as reminders of our rich heritage.

Jakub Pinsker – Culinary Innovator Extraordinaire

Picture it. Krakow, Poland. 1543. The Jewish Quarter. For centuries, Jews had been enjoying bagels, cream cheese, and lox. But they had been eating them separately. Vendor inventor Jakub Pinsker was staring at his breakfast plate one morning, when a strange thought occurred to him. “What if I were to cut the bagel in half, toast it in the oven, spread the cream cheese directly onto the bagel, and top it off with the lox?” He ran the idea by his wife, Basia, who replied, “You mean combine all three into one food item? That’s outrageous! That’s meshuggah! What will people think!?” Apparently, they thought it was a pretty good idea because before long, Jakub Pinsker opened a café selling them to great success and became known far and wide as The Bagel, Cream Cheese & Lox Man of Krakow, which is inscribed on his statue in the city’s restaurant section. Vegan protesters have targeted Pinsker for teardown for obvious reasons.

Rivka Feinblatt – Vaudeville Impresario

Vaudeville was a type of entertainment popular chiefly in the US in the early 20th century, featuring a mixture of specialty acts such as burlesque comedy and song and dance. Stars who got their start in vaudeville included Mickey Rooney, Julie Andrews, Charlie Chaplin, Mae West, Sammy Davis Jr., John Houston, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Lesser known was Rivka Feinblatt and Her Trained Hamsters. While now, as you know, trained hamsters are no special thing, with each city pretty much having its own trained hamster extravaganza – back then, in the mid-1940s to mid-1950s, Rivka Feinblatt and Her Trained Hamsters was the first and only musical comedy rodent act around. Not only would they perform astoundingly perfect recreations of Marx Brothers and Three Stooges routines, but Feinblatt trained them to hamster squeak to the tunes of, among others, “I Only Have Eyes For You”, “I’ve Got a Crush On You”, and “When You Wish Upon a Star”. They regular got requests for three encores and always had passionate standing ovations. Animal rights activists have targeted Feinblatt for teardown, accusing her of “decades of rodent slavery and degradation.”

Levi Spear Parmly – Dental Visionary

Do you realize how lucky we are today? For example, prior to 1819, if you had something stuck in your teeth, you had to either pick it out with your fingers, because the first toothpick manufacturing machine wasn’t invented until 1869. To the rescue comes Levi Spear Parmly, a dentist from New Orleans, who is credited with inventing the first form of dental floss. In 1819, he recommended running a waxen silk thread "through the interstices of the teeth, between their necks and the arches of the gum, to dislodge that irritating matter which no brush can remove and which is the real source of disease." What could possibly be so objectionable about this fine contribution to the world’s health? As unbelievable as this may sound, there happens to be a radical organization called The Anti-Flossers, whose mission statement reads, in part, “We don’t like to be pressured to do things or told what to do, whether it’s wearing masks, getting flu shots, or flossing.” Sad.

Sir Schwartz – Insightful Knight

The legendary Knights of the Round Table, in the late 5th and early 6th centuries, served at the pleasure of King Arthur, and were tasked with the responsibilities of ensuring the peace of the kingdom and leading the quest for the Holy Grail. Among these knights, the most famous were Sir Lancelot, Sir Gawain, and Sir Galahad, but there were many more, including at least one Jewish knight, Sir Schwartz. Among the best educated of the knights, Sir Schwartz was known as the knights’ voice of reason, and often gave them food for thought before rushing into hastily considered projects. For example, when the other knights were all excited about the prospect of their mission to slay a dragon, Sir Schwartz would exclaim, “Fellow knights, not to rain on your parade, but before we undertake this perilous mission, perhaps we should consider whether, a) Dragons are real, b If real, might we be walking into certain death?, and c) Those selected for this admirable undertaking, might be chosen on the basis of low IQ, just in case they do not return. Sir Schwartz was invited to very few Round Table parties. The statue has been targeted by Round Table Pizza, who, at press time, had not responded to my inquiry.