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Table of Contents
Editors and readers: Amy Levinson, Nurit Kraus-Friedberg.
Email transmission: Linda D. Epstein
Copy editing and final review: Naomi Kassabian,
Published twice yearly by Grodno Genealogy Group, Inc.
Officers: Ellen Sadove Renck, Jay Lenefsky, vice presidents; Amy Levinson, treasurer; Ellen Shaffer Meyer, secretary; Board member at large: Judith D. Bennett
Web site: http://www.javanet.com/~saltman
Copyright notice: This bulletin, as a whole, is copyrighted by Grodno Genealogy Group, Inc.
No part of it may be distributed by forwarding, copying, or any other form of reproduction without permission of the copyright holder. Their respective authors copyright individual articles.
A Contemporary Landsmanschaft
Dr. Robert Marshall
The shtetl "Zhetl" was a small village in Slonim district in Grodno guberniya in what is now Belarus. Its name means "woodpecker" and it was known as Zdzieciol in Polish and presently Dziatlava in Russian. The village had about 4000 Jews and only 400 non-Jews. The Jewish shtetl Zhetl no longer exists. However, its landsmanschaft continues to be vibrant.
At the turn of the century, when "Zhetlers" came to New York, they like other Jewish immigrants established a landsmanschaft. Landsmanschaften were the mutual aid and fraternal societies set up by those emigrating from Eastern European towns. They collected money and gave assistance to those Zhetlers in need. This was their chief tie to the shtetl Zhetl. My father still talks about how important it was to their family. As I researched my family Shlep, I found a rich history of this organization. My distant cousin, Anna Dashowitz, was the matriarch who kept the landsmanschaft functioning. Even into the 1940's, until her death, she was helping Zhetlers ease into life in New York.
After the war, the Zhetl society was still doing relief work. This time, it was mostly assisting in the resettlement of survivors in Israel. The entire community was destroyed by the Nazis in 1942; and the small remnant settled mostly in Israel. Effraim Shefer, the secretary of Irgun Zhetl, stated: "We in Israel, have been trying for over a half of a century to perpetuate the memory of our families who perished in Zhetl, by establishing various means and ways, to insure that the younger generations of the Zhetlers will remember what the Nazis have done to our families during World War II, and eternalize the holy names for ever in our hearts."
In 1957, they published their Yizkor Book in Yiddish. Later, Kalmun Manuskin, who is the Zhetl historian, produced a moving video documenting the story of the shtetl and its resistance to the Nazis. There is both an English and Hebrew edition. The Zhetl Society erected a symbolic monument on a grave in the cemetery in Holon, in which is buried a portion the earth from the mass graves in Zhetl. A service is conducted every year on the Yahrzeit of the first massacre in Zhetl in April 1942. They still meet every year on the Yahrzeit of the second massacre on the 23rd day of Av, the memorial date of the final liquidation of the Zhetler Jewish Community.
Their last project was to erect a fence around the cemetery in Zhetl. The Zhetl Society raised $10,000 for this project. The fence was finally completed in 1998. The group working not only with those in Israel and abroad, but also with those few remaining in Zhetl accomplished this. The landsmanschaft had become truly transnational, still serving its purpose to preserve its links to the past.
(c) Robert A Marshall, 1999
Landsmanschaft Society references
Contacting a Landsmanschaft may be an important activity of a shtetl group. It would be useful to know which of these societies had burial plots in which cemeteries. Some of this information is available through the International Association of Jewish Genealogy Societies'
Cemetery Project conducted by Arline and Sidney Sachs.
Grodno Group will soon publish an indexed list of burials in the Independent Slonimer Benevolent Society and Congregation Sheveth Achim Anshe Slonim sections of Mt. Zion Cemetery, Maspeth, Queens County, New York. Look for it on the Slonim web page and/or the GGG Inc. web page. The data have also been submitted to the IAJGS cemetery project.
If anyone wants to undertake a similar project, a list of New York cemeteries can be found on the web at http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Woods/4900/JewishCemeteries.htm
Other references: Appendix Q, "Landsmanschaftn in Israel", from A Guide to Jewish Genealogical Research in Israel. Sallyann Sack, Ph.D., and Israel Genealogical Society. Revised Ed.
Jewish Organizations in Belarus
According to our most recent information, there are several Jewish organizations operating in Belarus at this time. One of the two largest is the Union of Religious Jewish Congregations. The Union serves the Jewish population through a range of welfare programs and
provides religious education. It is also active in identifying, restoring and maintaining Jewish historical sites, which may make it helpful to those tracing their family history. It is involved in other activities as well and has a number of organizational affiliates, one of which is the East European Jewish Heritage Project. Private donations and international charities fund the Union. It is audited regularly by Arthur Anderson and Associates.
The second of the main groups is the Belarus Association and Communities, which is funded mostly by the Joint Distribution Committee. Not many details regarding this group's activities are available to us at this time, but we hope to provide more information in the future.
A newcomer on the scene is the World Association of Belarussian Jews, which has a very small membership at this time. Its mission is the preservation of cemeteries and the building of monuments commemorating historical sites, including those related to the Holocaust.
Lubavitch also is active in this area through Rabbi Gruzman of Minsk.
Compiled and edited from email reports by Nurit Kraus-Friedenberg
The East European Jewish Heritage Project is the latest organization to become involved in Jewish research and site preservation in Belarus. Recently,it has taken title to the Volozhin Yeshiva.
The following is quoted from a message from its director, Frank Swartz: "W met on Thursday with Dr. Bubnovsky the Director of the Committee for the Preservation of Historical and Architectural Monuments. This is the presidential level committee responsible for the listing of historic sites. We met with them to have the Volozhyn Yeshiva listed. While there Dr. Bubnovsky asked us to undertake the restoration of the Slonin Synagogue. The Committee has now endorsed the East European Jewish Heritage Project and the Union of Religious Jewish Congregations of the Republic of Belarus jointly as the Jewish organizations competent for the restoration of Jewish sites."
Ellen Sadove Renck is translating an
1887 gubernia databook; this is full of information (Did you want to know
how many sheep there were in Bialystok district?) and contains, among other
items, lists of professionals for each Grodno district. Part of this reference
may be found on the Grodno web page at http://www.javanet.com/~jsaltman
This is the section about professionals from Grodno town:
Professionals in Grodno and Grodno district 1887
All from Grodno town except those listed under a capitalized town name
Gubernia population :
Grodno district population: 44, 575
|TOWN||UEZD||OCCUPATION||SURNAME||First Name||Pharmacy Number|
|Antopol||Kobrin uezd||pharmacy owner||Podolski||#44|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||physician||Bomash||Yakov Efimovich|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||physician||Fershteter||Ludvig Grigorjevich|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||physician||Gaberling||Alezander Fridrihovich|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||pharmacy owner||Gansetski||#16|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||physician||Gronovski||Vladislav Ivanovich|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||physician||Gurvich||Boruh Shlemovich|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||physician||Gustch||Iosif Stanislavovich|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||physician||Hazanovich||Osip Aronovich|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||dentist||Iosem||Abram Shmueliovich|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||physician||Iraga||Ippolit Ivanovich|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||physician||Iserson||Saveli Lazorevich|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||physician||Kabylinski||Ivan Domenikovich|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||physician||Linshits||Gersh Iesahovich|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||physician||Makovskaya||Maria Nikolaevna|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||dentist||Makovski||Lev Yakovlevich|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||pharmacy owner||Mastitski||#17|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||physician||Smarchevski||Konstantin Petrovich|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||physician||Tril||Ludvig Samuilovich|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||physician||Triling||Ludvig Samuilovich|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||dentist||Vaisman||Milah Boruhovich|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||pharmacy owner||Vilbushevich||#18|
|Belostok||Belostok uezd||lawyer||Voloshinovski||Adolf Vladislavovich|
|Belsk||Belsk uezd||physician||Masjya||Izrael Mihelevich|
|Belsk||Belsk uezd||pharmacy owner||Shpitzbart||#26|
|Bereza||Pruzhany uezd||pharmacy owner||Sabotski||#47|
|?||Brest uezd||pharmacy owner||Blomkstein||Miletchitsy-manager||#41|
|Botki||Belsk uezd||physician||Verzhbitski||Adrei Feliksovich|
|Botzki||Belsk uezd||pharmacy owner||Namitkevich||#30|
|Botzki||Belsk uezd||pharmacy owner||Namitkevich||#30|
|Botzki||Belsk uezd||pharmacy manager||Vysokinski||#30|
|Brest||Brest uezd||physician||Filipovich||Kazimir Karlovich|
|Brest||Brest uezd||physician||Finshtein||Mikhail Ionovich|
|Brest||Brest uezd||pharmacy owner||Garski||#35|
|Brest||Brest uezd||physician||Grudinski||Vikenti Konstantinovich|
|Brest||Brest uezd||pharmacy owner||Klimashevski||#36|
|Brest||Brest uezd||pharmacy owner||Kosvena||#34|
|Brest||Brest uezd||physician||Lestchinski||Vladislav Leontjevich|
|Brest||Brest uezd||physician||Shereshevskaya||Galdina Samoilovna|
|Brest||Brest uezd||physician||Stanishevski||Victor Karlovich|
|Brest||Brest uezd||pharmacy owner||Suhetski||#37|
|Brest||Brest uezd||physician||Zaleski||Papel Pavlovich|
|Brest||Brest uezd||physician||Zdanski||Osip Alexandrovich|
|Briansk||Belsk uezd||pharmacy owner||Kusha||#27|
|Bryansk||Belsk uezd||physician||Tarashkevich||Ivan Ivanovich|
|Byten||Slonim uezd||pharmacy owner||Sobeshinski||#55|
|Byten||Slonim uezd||pharmacy manager||Valevich||#55|
|Deretchin||Slonim uezd||physician||Novitski||Vatslav Stanislavovich|
|Deretchin||Slonim uezd||pharmacy owner||Yavorski||#53|
|Dombrov||Sokulka uezd||pharmacy owner||Slavyanski||#13|
|Dragichin||Kobrin uezd||pharmacy owner||Priffer||#45|
|Drogichin||Belsk uezd||pharmacy owner||Neviarovski||#31|
|Drusgeniki||Grodno uezd||physician||Buyakovski||Valerian Ivanovich|
|Drusgeniki||Grodno uezd||physician||Vyrvich||Boleslav Antonovich|
|Drusgeniki||Grodno uezd||physician||Zbozhek||Ooma Ivanovich|
|Druzgeniki||Grodno uezd||pharmacy owner||belonged to the church||#5|
|Dyatlovo||Slonim uezd||pharmacy owner||Zbikovski||#52|
|Dytalovo||Slonim uezd||physician||Vinkler||Yulii Kazimirovich|
|Goniondz||Belostok uezd||pharmacy owner||Lenchevski||Liutzian||#22|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||lawyer||Abramski||Lev Osipovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||physician||Abramski||Savati Saveljevich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||dentist||Andres||Reihlya Berkovna|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||lawyer||Bakinovski||Lutsian Semenovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||physician||Benitski||Yulian Feliksovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||lawyer||Bush||Oktavian Boleslavovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||lawyer||Drazdovich||Vladislav Frantsevich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||lawyer||Eismont||Konstantin Osipovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||physician||Gershun||Grigori Yakovlevich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||physician||Gozhanski||Samuil Lazarevich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||lawyer||Gushkovski||Ivan Lvovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||physician||Hazanovich||Osip Abramovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||physician||Iljitski||Kaetan Stanislavovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||dentist||Issaakov||Alexei Mikhailivich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||lawyer||Kakoshko||Segizmund Mikhailovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||lawyer||Kalenkevich||Ignati Ivanovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||physician||Kamenski||Ferdinand Martinovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||dentist||Kaufman||Veniamin Leizerovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||physician||Kostyalkovski||Osip Ivanovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||lawyer||Kramarov||Salomon Samoilovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||lawyer||Linke||Yulian Ferdinandovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||lawyer||Nagorski||Stanislav Stanislavovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||physician||Poluto||Anton Antonovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||physician||Ratenshtein||Issak Izrailovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||lawyer||Senenko||Andre Andreevich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||physician||Tomashevich||Vikenti Ivanovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||lawyer||Vasinevski||Richard Ksaverjevich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||lawyer||Yachinovski||Stanislav Stanislavovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||lawyer||Yanovski||Girsh Haimovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||lawyer||Yanovski||Oeofil Iliya|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||physician||Zablodski||Boleslav Karlovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||lawyer||Zaitsev||Oaddei Vepediktovich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||physician||Zamkovski||Geneh Tevelyavich|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||pharmacy owner||belonged to the church||#1|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||pharmacy manager||Feishner||#3|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||pharmacy owner||Kandratovich||#2|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||pharmacy owner||Nesterovich||#3|
|Grodno||Grodno uezd||pharmacy owner||Vinover||#4|
|Holstov||Volkovysk uezd||physician||Shenskovich||Mustafa Ivanovich|
|Indura||Grodno uezd||pharmacy owner||Natana||Ionessa||#8|
|Indura||Grodno uezd||physician||Vizgird||Stanislav Selvestrovich|
|Ivanovo||Kobrin uezd||pharmacy owner||Kalesinski||#43|
|Kamenetsk-Litovsk||Brest uezd||pharmacy owner||Sabishinski||#39|
|Kamenetsk-Litovsk||Brest uezd||pharmacy manager||Tochilovski||#39|
|Kartuz-Bereza, Pruzhany uezd||Pruzhany uezd||physician||Okolov||Tsezari Selvestrovich|
|Klestcheli||Belsk uezd||pharmacy owner||Gorbachovski||#33|
|Knyshin,||Belostok uezd||pharmacy owner||Izdebski||#21|
|Knyshina||Belostok uezd||physician||Ksenzhopolski||Eduard Ferdinand-Medar Frantsevich|
|Kobrin||Kobrin uezd||pharmacy owner||Miklashevich||#42|
|Kobrin||Kobrin uezd||physician||Raigrodski||Meer Veniaminovich|
|Kobrin||Kobrin uezd||pharmacy manager||Shidlovski||Vatslav||#42|
|Kosovo||Slonim uezd||pharmacy owner||Gladovski||Genrih||#54|
|Krinki||Grodno uezd||pharmacy owner||Tensushe||#6|
|Lunna||Grodno uezd||physician||Gustcha||Ivan Osipovich|
|Lunno||Grodno uezd||pharmacy owner||Hvenkovski||#7|
|Michailovo,||Belostok uezd||pharmacy owner||Tzensusha||#24|
|Mileitschitsy||Brest uezd||physician||Borisovski||Iosif Oomich|
|Mileitschitsy||Brest uezd||physician||Fogel||Haim Leibovich|
|Miletchitsy||Brest uezd||pharmacy manager||Blomkshtein owner||#41|
|Miletchitsy||Brest uezd||pharmacy manager||Sandberg||#41|
|Mogilevtsy||Volkovysk uezd||physician||Dzyakonski||Kazimir Evstafjevich|
|Nizbudka||Belostok uezd||physician||Dobrovoljski||Adam Mikhailovich|
|Orlya||Belsk uezd||pharmacy owner||Oginski||#32|
|Ozera||Grodno uezd||pharmacy owner||Gustavski-Gustateis||#9|
|Parozovo||Volkovysk uezd||pharmacy manager||Sabishinski||#60|
|Parozovo||Volkovysk uezd||pharmacy owner||Tochilovski||Ignati||#60|
|Peredel||Kobrin uezd||physician||Klinovski||Otton Kazimirovich|
|Peski||Volkovysk uezd||pharmacy manager||Dlugosh||#59|
|Peski||Volkovysk uezd||pharmacy owner||Saroseka||Ivan||#59|
|Piesk||Volkovysk uezd||physician||Bitner||Cheslav Nikolaevich|
|Podluzhe||Slonim uezd||physician||Dobopinski||Mikhail Domenikovich|
|Porozovo||Volkovysk uezd||physician||Mazurkevich||Vikenti Osipovich|
|Priluki||Kobrin uezd||physician||Mantselevich||Lev Grigorjevich|
|Pruzhany||Pruzhany uezd||physician||Patsevich||Avgustin Konstantinovich|
|Pruzhany||Pruzhany uezd||pharmacy owner||Yurkovski||Anton||#46|
|Ross||Volkovysk uezd||physician||Karo||Nikolai Eduardovich|
|Rozhanka||Slonim uezd||physician||Bomash||Meer Gershkovich|
|Rozhanka||Slonim uezd||pharmacy owner||Lyatski||#51|
|Semetichi||Belsk uezd||physician||Cherkovski||Ludvig-Mikhael Oomich|
|Semiatichi||Belsk uezd||pharmacy owner||Neviarovski||#29|
|Shereshevo||Pruzhany uezd||pharmacy owner||Kadevich||#48|
|Shereshevo||Pruzhany uezd||pharmacy manager||Krasinski||#48|
|Shereshevo, Pruzhany uezd||Pruzhany uezd||physician||Vladislavovich||Gerih|
|Skidel||Grodno uezd||pharmacy owner||Krauze||Bronislav||#10|
|Slonim||Slonim uezd||physician||Belski||Stanislav Ivanovich|
|Slonim||Slonim uezd||physician||Bomash||David Semenovich|
|Slonim||Slonim uezd||pharmacy owner||Kovarski||Hanon||#49|
|Slonim||Slonim uezd||physician||Pyasetski||Avraam Markovich|
|Slonim||Slonim uezd||pharmacy owner||Tegazo||#50|
|Sohovolya||Sokulka uezd||pharmacy owner||Leva||#14|
|Sokulka||Sokulka uezd||pharmacy owner||Dudkevich||#12|
|Suprasl||Belostok uezd||pharmacy owner||Skrobetzki||#23|
|Supraslj||Belostok uezd||physician||Chenurkovski||Remigi Ivanovich|
|Svisloch||Volkovyski uezd||physician||Bitner||Vladimir Zdislavovich|
|Svisloch||Volkovyski uezd||pharmacy owner||Milgof||#57|
|Svisloch||Volkovyski uezd||pharmacy manager||Shidlovski||Karl||#57|
|Tehanovets||Belsk uezd||physician||Sventski||Pavel Rohavich|
|Trostjany||Belostok uezd||pharmacy owner||Lenchevskij||Stanislav||#25|
|Tzehanovetz||Belsk uezd||pharmacy owner||Loman||#28|
|Velikaya-Berestovitsa||Grodno uezd||pharmacy owner||Kachinski||#11|
|Vladavka||Brest uezd||pharmacy manager||Fabishevski||#40|
|Vladavka||Brest uezd||pharmacy owner||Pisarzhevski||#40|
|Volkovysk||Volkovyski uezd||physician||Krushevski||Yulii-Ivan Yulievich|
|Volkovysk||Volkovyski uezd||pharmacy owner||Tyminski||Andrei||#56|
|Vrotsenj||Belostok uezd||physician||Yavorovski||Vladislav Vikentjevich|
|Vysoko-Litovsk||Brest uezd||physician||Fainshtein||Boris Ionovich|
|Vysoko-Litovsk||Brest uezd||physician||Kobrinets||Karl Vasiljevich|
|Vysoko-Litovsk||Brest uezd||pharmacy manager||Starzhinski||#38|
|Vysoko-Litovsk||Brest uezd||pharmacy manager||Tyminski||#38|
|Yanovo||Belostok uezd||pharmacy owner||Chaikovski||#19|
|Yanovo||Sokulka uezd||pharmacy owner||Zhukovski||Petr||#15|
|Zabludov||Belostok uezd||pharmacy owner||Goldberg||#20|
|Zelva||Volkovysk uezd||pharmacy owner||Panotski||Ooma||#58|
|Slonim uezd||physician||Gershkonf||Volf Samoilovich|
© Ellen Sadove Renck 1998. All Rights Reserved. Permission Granted to GGG, Inc. to use material.
"Proprietors" of pharmacies were probably lessees of the rights to run a business. The town or nobleman who owned it owned the pharmacy, mill, tavern and certain other valuable franchises.
Note that at this date, few professionals were Jewish. This continues to be the case in the 1903 business data from Vsya Rossia, where the pharmacy proprietors are referred to as "arend" or lessee.
Following the International Meeting in July of 1998 we obtained from
Kahlile Mehr, representative of the Mormon church, a copy of the inventory
of Jewish records prepared for the Mormons in preparation for their filming
in Grodno archives. This consists of 31 pages in Russian, prepared for
the church by Dmitri Panov, a Russian genealogist. In addition Mr. Mehr
reviewed another inventory prepared by the archivist herself and gave us
two pages pertaining to military records.
The inventory lacks detail in many respects. It covers thousands of pages
of documents but gives the number of pages for only a few of the listed
items. Many descriptions refer only to the district and we need to know
what portions of the district are covered, as these are all partial
records. This is vital information for members who are inquiring whether
there is anything about their particular shtetl in Grodno archives.
From documentation I received during Oleg Perzashkevich's researches I knew
that Fond 2, which is only referred to by its number in the Mormon
documents, contains records of kahal elections in certain smaller districts
such as my grandmother's shtetl, Ruzhany. In a pilot project financed by
your dues we attempted to find out what other shtetls are covered.
Here is the listing in the Mormon inventory:
GRODNENSKOYE GUBERNSKOYE PRAVLENIYE (Grodno Gub. Administration)
Fond 2. 78980 Ed. Chr. , 1802-1916 (fond 2; 78,980 chronicles)
Following is part of the result of the pilot project, carried out by
archivists working for the East European Jewish Heritage Project (Minsk,
Frank Swartz, Executive Director):
Fond 2, op. 1. CONTENTS
1. Guiding materials
2. Materials on the question of peasantry
3. Materials about the development of capitalism in industry, trade and
4. Materials on the question of property.
1. About debt recovery.
5. Materials about moving , quartering the troops and carrying out the
6. Materials on the tsarist punitive policy.
7. Materials on the questions of censorship, press, subscription to
newspapers, magazines, books.
8. Materials on the personnel of gubernsky(provincial) institutions and
1. Enrollment and discharge.
9. Materials about migration of the population abroad and issuing passports.
10. Materials on the questions of everyday life.
Fond 2. Opis 1.(Inventory) PREFACE
The Grodno gubernskoye (provintial) Board was founded on 01.01.1820 with
the establishment of the Grodno gubernia (province) under the termsof «The
Institution for governing the gubernias (provinces)» of 1775. It was under the
authority of the Ministry of Home Affairs and served as an administrative
police body of the gubernia (province) which worked under the chairmanship
of a gubernator(governor); it was also its executive body.
Before 1806 the clerical work in the Board was conducted without any
structure. In 1806 4 tables (bureaus) were established. After 1816 the Board
consisted of two dispatch offices (departments) and 4 povytiyes
(tables,bureaus). In 1837 3 departments were established. After 1837 the
clerical work was divided into 4 departments; each of them had 2
FUNCTIONS OF THE DEPARTMENTS
The 1st department drew up records of the gubernskoye(provincial) Board,
promulgated laws and resolutions, supervised their execution, collected
information about tax collection, about accidents in the
gubernia(province).It dealt with the questions of the personnel of the Board
and other uyezd institutions. It supervised the persons who were under police
surveillance. It led gentry and village elections. It was closely connected
with the 3rd department «The Private Office of His Emperor's Majesty».
The 2nd department was in charge of the questions of religion and public
It supervised military units, issued passports, administered oath to foreign
subjects wishing to live in Russia. It controlled roads, bridges,
transportation, post-offices. It dealt with the questions of public health
The 3rd department controlled the execution of judicial-police and
investigating cases in all municipal and zemsky police departments, the work
of gentry trusteeships and orphan courts. It dealt with the cases of not
wealthy gentry, sale of property for debts, staff premises, controlled
The 4th department collected general information about the gubernia
(province): population, state of agriculture, trade, factory-and-works
industry. It controlled the structure of towns and villages. It dealt with the
appointment and control of tax collection. It approved the estimates of
municipal dumas and ratushas ( town halls). It was in charge of the
recruiting process, controlled the work of insurance companies and other
The gubernator ( governor) had a right to transfer the execution of some
cases from one department to another.
After 02.01.1845 the Board office was divided into 3 departments, each
department consisted of 3 tables(bureaus). There was a treasurer, a printing-
house, an archive, a gubernsky(province) architect, a land surveyor with the
drawing, a registry, corporal punishment and economic-administrative bodies
attached to the Board.
The cases were divided into administrative (with judicial-police) and
After 11.02.1867 the Medical board, the gubernsky(provincial) committee of
public health and the gubernsky (provincial) «ostenny» committee joined the
The structure of the Board consisted of:
The 1st department - the 1st-2nd , special and newspaper
The 2nd department - the 3rd-4th tables(bureaus).
The 3rd department - the 5th-6th tables(bureaus).
The building department.
The medical department.
The gubernsky(provincial) drawing office.
In September 1915 the Board was evacuated to Kaluga. It was abolished
in February 1917.
In the Fond there are 78980 cases from 1802 till 1917; 39 records. The
materials are systematized according to departments and tables(bureaus) ,
years, then according to topic sections and subsections.
More detailed information about industry and trade is in opis (inventory)
11, 18, 21, 23, 27, 33, 34.
State of the peasantry - op.1, 7, 8, 21, 24, 31, 34-36.
Revolutionary movement - op. 22, 25.
War of 1812, revolts of 1831, 1863 - op. 30, 34, 36.
Improvement of the villages, income and expenditure of the towns -
Information about population , property status, the procedure of
electing officials to low-middle class boards and public administrative
boards, maintenance of the boards, recruiting, military kantonists,
citizenship , etc. - op. 9, 11, 12, 15, 17-34, 36.
About the personnel of gubernsky(provincial) institutions - op. 1, 3-9,
20, 24, 25.
Official lists of the employees of gubernsky (provincial) institutions -
Records of the Board's sessions - op.
NIAB (Gr) At the end there are a topical and non-graphic indexes.
F.2 (Grodno gubernskoye (provincial) Board)
op.1 (1802-1805), 333 entries
p. 1-5 -preface (structure of the Fond)
33 - on a complaint of the Novopolotsk kahal about the wrong spending of
town income by the magister . 1802-1809, 73 pages.(MCF)
39 - about approving of the «korobochny» (box) collection to pay off the
debts of the Jewish kahals. 1802-8,695 (MCF)
54 - on a complaint of mestchans Leibovich E and Janislevich L about the
seizure of their land by ks. Kanonik. 1802 (MCF)
55 - the same of the residents of the shtetl Novyj Dvor about the seizure
of their land by pomestchik(landlord) Andrushkevich I . 1802-1809 . 265 (MCF)
86 - about debt recovery from the titular counselor Rovits in favour of the
resident of Grodno E. Izraileva . 1802, 4.
88, 89 - the same of merchant A.Eselevich in favour of merchant A. Itskovich,
>from mestchanin A.Itskovich in favour of the resident of Grodno Trodsky.
1802-1810, 23,8 pages
240 - about perpetration of a theft by mestchans B.Kivovich and A.Movshovich
in a Jewish school. 1802-1810, 32
262 - about debt recovery of 8000 zlotys from the Pinsk kahal in favour of
the Vilzhynsk monastery. 1803-1808., 10 pages.
Fond 2, Opis 2 (1806-1815), 666 entries
24 - about voluntary migration of the Jews from one place to another.
69 - lists of the Jews missed when the register books were drawn up in
1804. 1809-1810, 126.
70 - on a complaint of the earl Viljegorskij about not paying him the
rent by the mestchant Leiba Poljakovich. 1809, 17.
75 - on a petition of the mestchans Dymer, Jankelevich, Shapiro and
others about recording them in register books. 1909, 7.
77 - the same of the mestchanin Volf Aronovich about registering him as
one of the mestchans of Lida. 1809-1810, 12.
203 - on a complaint of the Mstibovsky kahal on the assessor of the
Volkovysk zemsky court Rafanovich about
illegal exaction of recruiting money
Following is an inventory of Dyelo (Book) 699 of the same fond, giving
towns covered. This was purchased from Oleg Perzashkevich of Minsk
Fond 2, Opis 3, Dyelo 699
From Oleg Perzashkevich
INDEX for Dyelo (Book) 699 of Fund 2, opis 3 of Grodno State Historical
Archive. The Documentation on Board Elections of Kahals of Grodno
Province for 1837-41.
Name of the settlement (kahal) District Town(?)
Berestovitsa Velikaya Grodno 4ds-5;
Bereza Pruzhany 156-161ds
Lida Lida 12-14; 381-381ds
Maletsh Pruzhany 168-170
Novy Dvor Lida
Ostryna Lida 402-403
Radun Lida 414-417
Volkovysk district shtetles
COMMENTARIES (by Perzashkevich)
I. The records in this book are the typical documentation on Russian
procedure of elections of Jewish officials, because each kahal had the
right for religious and some sort of economical self rule.
II. In the documents you can find:
1. The lists of elected persons (for each kahal);
2. The official papers, every Jewish official was to sign after had been
elected (for the majority of kahals);
3. The list of voters (for many kahals);
4. The details about economical status of elected person (for some kahals);
5. The ages of elected persons (for some kahals);
6. The list of candidates and the results of voting (for some kahals).
Finally, here is an example of contents of Dyelo 699. It is the record of
kahal elections for 1838 in Ruzhany (excerpted from data provided by
Perzashkevich, and the EEJHP).
1838 KAHAL ELECTOR NAMES
Fond 2, Opis 3, Delo 1703, page 179; Central Historical Archives, Grodno.
Information obtained from Minsk Genealogy Group and EEJHP
Transliteration by Frank and Galina Swartz , directors of EEJHP. [I
have not attempted to impose transliteration standards, nor have I guessed
that "Petkovsky" is the same as "Pitkovsky".--- The Editor (A.L.)]
Alpern, Abram Osherovich
Alpern, Mendel Dovydovich
Alpern, Mordukh Gershonovich
Alperg, Shmujlo Zalmanovich
Alper, Movsha Osherovich
Alperin, Jankel Mejerovich
At (Aps ? Ans ?), Mejer Sroliovich
Babich, Girsh Naftaliovich
Babich, Wolf Aizikovich
Babich, Wolf Medeliovich
Bas, Jankel Volfovich
Berman, Abram Girshovich Berman
Berman, Elia-Nota Berkovich
Berman, Orko Girschovich
Berman, Zusel Sroliovich
Breznitski, Dovid Mendelovich
Bulgach, Shumuilo Boruhovich
Epshteyn, Movsha Abramovich
Epshteyn, Movsha Yoseliovich
Epshteyn, Nissel Leyzerovich
Epshteyn, Shmujlo Rubinovich
Epshteyn, Yankel Meirovich
Epshteyn, Iosel Hononovich
Epshteyn, Yosel Osherovich
Fuksman, Abram Jankeliovich
Fuksman, Haim Movshovich
Fuksman, Hirsh Shimonovich
Fuksman, Leyzer Leibovich
Fuksman, Movsha Hirshovich
Gelman, Movsha Edidovich
Gubar, Dovyd Movshovich
Gubar, Jelja Mejerovich
Gubar, Leiba Morduhovich
Gubar, Zelman Dovidovich
Haidak, Shmujlo Berkovich
Jeliovich (Yeliovich ?), Abram Shanovich
Izralet, Symho Ioseliovich
Kaplinsky, Shimel Ovsenovich
Kazak, Abram Shmerkovich
Kibran, (Kobran), Sholem Leibovich
Kozak, Morduh Abramovich
Korpel, Mejer Shimonovich (Kornel ?)
Kotsyn, Sholem Fisheliovich
Kushner, Haim Genohovich
Kuznitz (Kusnetz), Movsha Khatzkelovich
Lepenitski, Moshe Abramovich
Levenbukh, Hirsch Itzkovich
Levitan, Abram S hmuilovich
Levitan, Israel Rubinovich
Levitan, Liber (?) Rubinovich
Levitan, Yossel Sohorovich
Liamets, Orko Dovydovich
Petkovski, Itsko Ioseliovich
Petkovski, Geshel Leizerovich
Petkovski, Leibe Abramovich
Petkovski, Leybe Gesherovich
Pines, Mejer Leibovich
Pitkovsky, Jankel Haimovich
Ponchoshkin, Enokh Shliomovich
Ponchoshkin (?), Genari Shliomovich
Prinshtein, Mendel Rubinovich
Ruskin, Honon Hatskeliovich
Salemon, Jankel Dovydovich
Savolski, Berko Hershovich
Shamesh, Girsh Movshovich
Shatkhan, Leiba Nohimovich
Shepjatskij, Berko Nirshovich
Shereshevsky, Itzko Hershovich
Shereshevskij, Leiba Shimsheliovich
Shereshovsky, Leiba Zelikovich
Shereshevski, Yankel Itzkovich
Shimsheliovich, Leiba (?? )
Sokolovski, Srul-Nachman Vulfovich
Taran, Leizer Shevelevich
Yezernitsky, Meier Berkovich
Zakin, Abram Dovidovich
Zakin, Abram Gershonovich
Zakin, Abram-Leiba Movshovich
Zakin, Abram Movshevich
Zakin, Hirsh Yoselovich
Zakin, Hiel Nohimovich Zakin
Zakin, Leiba Gershonovich
Zakin, Leiba Tobijashovich
Zakin, Leizer Gershovich
Zakin, Movsha Iokelovich
Zakin, Yankel Gershonovich
Zakin, Yossel Nokhimovich
Zakliaty, Abram Leibovich
Zlotnik, Itsko Shliomovich
The following is Perzashkevich's translation of a certificate from Fond 2,
opis 3, delo 699, Pages 290 - 291.
A Certificate, given to Itsko Ghirshovich Shereshevsky by Rozhany Jewish
Community In July, 1838.
After request of Jew Itska Ghirshovich Shereshevsky, the Ruzhany Jewish
Community gives him this certificate to prove, that, despite the Community,
according to the results of elections, took place in May-June 1838, elected
him as a member of the kahal board, the Community had no wish to do it and
was against such election; because this post duty has many difficulties,
and Itsko has serious health problems, so he is not able to be busy with
such duty; also he managers [sic] a state [sic] leather factory and should
pay daily salary to workers hired, and above all he can lose big part of
his capital, that is involved in this business, if he become the kahal
official; so the Community set him, Itsko Shereshevsky, free from the duty
of kahal official, and asks the authorities to substitute Itsko by somebody
else, who had been registered as a candidate to kahal board member in the
ballot list before elections took place.
As Itzko was a candidate for office, his income and assets are stated for
House and leather factory, income 1000 rubles in assignations
NOTES: Observations about names --
The kahal electors were a rather inbred group. ( At this date, 1838, the
population of Ruzhany was about 1,400. There are 48 different surnames on
Berman was a well known name in nearby Slonim, the district capital. Wolf
Berman at age 80 was chairman of the first Slonim Judenrat in 1941.
Zakin is in the Zak family , whose genealogy is documented in two large
volumes entitled "Scattered Seeds", by George Sackheim. The Zak family
is a very long line of rabbis. Their ancestor was invited to come from
Vienna to Ruzhany in the 17th century by Duke Leon Sapieha Lithuanian
owner of the town, to organize the duke's business operations.
Pines was also a large family which became numerous and prominent in
Ruzhany, Bialystok and many other locations within this part of the Pale
of Settlement. See: Pines, Wayne. The Sermons of Jerome Martin Pines:
with a partial genealogy of the Pines family. Publ. by W.L. Pines,
The Pines family founded and maintained a yeshiva in Ruzhany; in late
19th century they had weaving mills located on the former Sapieha estate
and sold cloth in the town. (Vsya Rossia, 1895, 1899, 1903)
Yezernitsky was the original name of Yitzak Shamir, formerly Prime Minister
of Israel. See: Shamir, Itzak, Summing Up : an autobiography. Boston :
Little, Brown, c1994. Shamir's father was head of the Jewish community in
Ruzhany in the thirties. He and his family perished during World War II.
The Shereshevsky family were also prominent in business in Grodno, Ruzhany,
Slonim and in Lithuania. Wolf Shereshevsky was head of the Ruzhany
community during World War I. He and his family met the same fate as that
Sokolovsky was the original surname of the Yizkor Book editor for
Ruzhany, Meir Sokolovsky.
It is interesting to find that all these families had a presence in
Ruzhany as early as 1838.
Further reading on election and service
of rabbis under the czar:
Eliach, Yaffe There Once was a World. at p. 96. Little, Brown 1998.
Chayesh, Anatoli I. A List of Officers of Jewish Prayer Societies in
Russia, 1853-55. Avoteynu Vol. IX No. 2, page 25, summer 1993.
Singer , I.J., Of a World That is No More, p. 87. Vanguard Press 1970.
Encycl. Jud. p. 862
Singer, I.B. In my Father's Court . Noonday Press, NY, 1967. ISBN
Levinson, Amy. The Russian Government Rabbis. Shalshelet Vol. No.
Winter 1999 (Newsletter of JGS Oregon)
Coordinators of Shtetl Study Groups or contacts for
Grodno uezds and towns:
GGG Inc. is trying to organize research activities by district. Each
district needs one or more people to coordinate activities:
Get together a list of interested parties. having such a list is
informative and fun Decide what activities will have priority
Raise money for research activities
Keep track of activities sponsored on behalf of shtetls within the
Keep track of projects undertaken by another organization:
JRI-Poland, Belarus SIG, the Yizkor Book
As an incentive to organization, GGG Inc. can make a small matching grant
of $100 to districts that have a coordinator, a list of participants,
priorities, a chosen project and at least $100 raised by members of the
To date, Lida district qualifies for the matching grant. Brest district
will qualify as soon as it has raised
its first $100.
Following is the list of district and shtetl coordinators as of June 10
Bialystok uezd 5308' 2309' --- No coordinator! However, Bialystok is
organized under JRI-Poland to translate vital records from
LDS films. Some records are in Bialystok Archives, Poland, and some are in
Central Archives of the Republic of Belarus, Grodno.
Zabludow at 5301 2321
Tilford Bartman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Knyshin Jackie Ziff
Bielsk Uezd: No Coordinator! Please volunteer to coordinate! Note: There
is one LDS (Mormon) film for Bielsk.
Drogicin 52011 2509 Benjamin M. Eisenstein
<Ben_E@compuserve.com> maintains a website at
Brest Uezd 52:06 23:42 -- Bernard & Phillip Rosinsky,
Grodno town and uezd 5341' 2350' --- No coordinator! Please volunteer to
Grodno town and uezd website under construction by Jim Yarin <email@example.com>
Skidel 5335' 2415' Linda Hugle, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
NOTE: the Skidel web site contains material of general interest to those
from Grodno gubernia, including some Operation Reinhardt deportation
Kobrin uezd 5213' 2421' -- No coordinator.
Lida uezd -- Ellen Sadove Renck: Phrases1@aol.com
website under construction then moving to ShtetLinks:
Eisiskes 5410' 2500': Judy Baston<JRBaston@aol.com>
Ivye 5356' 2546' :Steven Levine <email@example.com>
Lida town 5353' 2518': <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Nowy Dwor 5348' 2434' -- Harriette Hinderstein, <HarrietH@aol.com>
Orliany/Orlowa 5330' 2459': Susan Stone: <Momteller@aol.com>
Ostryna 5344' 2432' -- Co-Coordinators: Bernard Anscher <email@example.com>
and Dr. David Kaplan at <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Radun 5403' 2500' --Sheila Tanenbaum<email@example.com >
Rozanka 5332' 2444' -- Ellen Sadove Renck, <Phrases1@aol.com>
Szczuczyn 5336' 2445' -- Gary Katz, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Vasilishki 5347' 2451' -- No Coordinator! Please volunteer to coordinate!
Voronovo 5409' 2519' -- Jack Gottlieb, <JGottlieb@worldnet.att.net>
Zaludok 5336' 2459' -- Susan Stone, <Momteller@aol.com>
Zyrmuny 5401' 2513' --Judy Baston, <JRBaston@aol.com>
Pruzhany town and uezd 5233' 2428' -- Jay Lenefsky <email@example.com>
Slonim uezd 5306' 2519' -- Coordinators: Joan Krotenberg <JoanK16157@aol.com>
Slonim website (Joanne Saltman): http://www.zah.ndirect.co.uk/slonim.htm
Molchad: Myrna Siegel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Ruzhany 5252' 2453' -- Amy Levinson, <email@example.com> and Ruzhany
Sokolka uezd 5325' 2330'---Please volunteer to coordinate!
Svisloch -- Mark Melnicove <THPub@aol.com>
Volkovysk uezd 53:10 24:28 -- No Coordinator. Please volunteer to coordinate!
Web page directory for Grodno gubernia
Most of these pages can be found by typing the subject into a search engine
and also through Jewishgen
Use of a search engine such as Metacrawler, which picks up from six other
engines, is most efficient.
Shetl web pages are listed in the directory of coordinators, above.
GGG Inc. web page (temporary site)
http://www.teleport.com/~arl/Shereshevsky.html -- surname Shereshevsky
http://www.mcs.net/~bobj2361 my genealogy page -- Bobby Jacobs
http://adams.patriot.net/~arielle/air/geneal.html --Arielle Masters
http://www.caliginous.com/family/ --- Dan Jacobs