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[Page XLIV English]

Personalities

 

Yitzhak Katzenelson: in his birthplace
(From “Yitzhak Katzenelson: His Life and Works” by Zippora Katzenelson-Nachumov, Chapter 22, pp. 150 ff.)

by Zippora Katzenelson-Nachumov

The visit of Yitzhak Katzenelson to his home town, following a tour of Jewish communities in Lithuania, had all the earmarks of a festival. He was given a public welcome at the railway station and taken to the home of his grandfather, Rabbi Yitzhak Yechiel, where his cradle was being kept as a memento of Korelitz's famous son.

He spent the few days of his visit with the young people, strolling with them along the road or across the fields, singing Hebrew and Yiddish songs, and talking about the Land of Israel. He urged his young compatriots to go there: “Dear Jewish sons and daughters, your place is in the Land of Israel. Go there and build a new life for yourselves.”


Yaakov Binyamin Katzenelson

Born in Kapulie in 1859. Studied in Volozhin and Kovno. Author of Olelot Efrayim (1889), in which he described the vaunted Maskilim (enlightened) as rank opportunists. Under the pseudonym “Ben Yemini”, he wrote for the Hebrew encyclopedia , Ha-Eshkol (Warsaw), visiting Korelitz to see his wife, the daughter of Korelitz's rabbi, R. Yitzhak Yechiel Davidson. Their son Yitzhak was born in 1886.

In its eulogy, the newspaper “Hajnt” (November 28, 1931) said: “…He lived and breathed love for the Hebrew tongue and the Jewish people. His erudition in Judaica was immense, particularly in Jewish history… for many years he was engaged in pedagogy, and the generation of disciples whom he reared was always his pride and joy…”


Gershon Eliasberg

Born in Novohorodek in 1976, he chose his father's career - pharmacy, and after years of study and work in Russia returned to Korelitz. By that time he already had to his credit extensive experience in public affairs - youth leadership and professional branch organization. In Korelitz he devoted himself to the rehabilitation of the families which had undergone economic ruin, and formed ties of the “Yekope” aid association, later becoming a member of its board. He founded the People's Cooperative Bank in Korelitz, and was active in the Rebuilding Commission, Free Loan Society and various general welfare societies of the town, gaining the respect and gratitude of all its inhabitants.


Shalom Cohen

Born into a rabbinic family (1880), he worked as a bookkeeper from the age of 18 to the outbreak of the World War. Deported from Korelitz by the Germans, he went to his father's family in Novohorodok, where he helped carry on the relief work among Jewish victims of the war in the area. After the war he continued with public affairs - Secretary to the first democratically elected Community Council in the town, a founder of the Folk School (he also taught there) and a member of the “Jakufa” (“Yekope”) Committee's Free Loan Society division.


[Page XLVII English]

Alter Greenfeld

by Hassia Turtel Obrezhansky

A true cultural activist, his interests ranged from organizing a children's club and working with the Hehalutz Council to extensive travel all over the province to deliver lectures, editing bulletins and writing poems and essays. In Novohorodek he participated in the periodical “Navaredoker Leben”, signing his writings A. Gad. His volume of poetry, Mir Iz Gut (I have It Made) was published by the Korelitz Library in 1936,and his other manuscripts were awaiting publication, but when the Russian army entered Poland he went to Russia and was not heard from since.


[Page XLVIII English]

Feivel Nisselevitz

by Yaacov Abramowich

He was the postman of the town, along with his being a coachman. Everyone who needed transportation to Novohorodok (21 kilometers) wanted to ride with Feivel. His tunes and anecdotes were much to the liking of his passengers, although he did ask them to walk up the steep inclines on the way to make it easier for the horses. The police at the Novohorodok checkpoint knew him well and waved him through without inspection.

His family was wiped out by the Nazis, except for one daughter, who left for Eretz-Israel before the war and settled in Tel Yosef.


The Porush, Kalman Marashiner

by Yaacov Abramowich

He used to come to our school just before dismissal time, then take the boys with him to the Bet-Hamidrash and had them recite Psalms, in return for which he gave them gifts - a pencil, notebook and other small items of this kind.

He spent his entire day in the Bet-Hamidrash. Malkah, his wife, would bring his meals to him, and instead of sleeping he would lie on the wooden bench and take a brief nap, despite the sound of study around him.

In time he and his wife joined their children in Eretz-Israel.

 

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