Books | Reflections

May 21, 2008

La Kosher Nostra

Former Gambino family mobster Louis Ferrante tells Gelf about his transformation from hijacker to Orthodox Jew.

Michael Gluckstadt

The ties between Jewish and Italian gangsters are legendary. From Bugsy Siegel and Lucky Luciano to Michael Corleone and Hyman Roth to Tony Soprano and Hesh Rabkin, there is a longstanding tradition of respect—or at least interaction—between the two groups. But Judaism and the mafia have never been as intertwined as they are in the biography of Louis Ferrante. Ferrante was a hijacker in the Gambino crime family in the 1980s and 90s. The Queens native was arrested in 1994 and served eight and a half years in prison on charges of credit card fraud and armed robbery. While he was there, Ferrante made the most of his time. He began reading, writing, and searching for meaning in his life. Eventually, he found his way to Orthodox Judaism, and has been an all-out mensch ever since.

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- Books
- posted on May 26, 08

Think one of you dudes could ask him this question for me on Thursday. It's kinda stupid, but I've always been curious...

The phrase "opening up the books" (they say it when someone's gonna get made in The Sopranos and Goodfellas), is there actually, like, a book with their names in it? Or is it just a figure of speech?

- Books
- posted on Jun 07, 08

Cool article!

Article by Michael Gluckstadt

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