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The Piotrkow Trybunalski Relief Association (cont.)

 

The Beginning of a New Era

On February 11, 1960, a new committee, consisting mostly of survivors, was elected. Max Frackman was the chairman, Ben James was co-chairman, together with Sol Berger and David Strick. The financial secretary was Isadore Pincus, the recording secretary Henry Rosenstein, and foreign secretary Moshe Israel Sochachevsky. H. Windman became the corresponding secretary and the trustees were Morris Berliner, Sam Weltman, Al Rosenstein, Vitek Blachman and Barney Freeman. On October 30, 1960, the first fully coordinated Hazkarah was organized by the association. A few months later, on May 7, 1961, the Piotrkower in New York celebrated the 13th anniversary of Israel's Independence with an elaborate gathering arranged by the Committee and the Ladies Auxiliary.

A lively Purim party held on March 24, 1962 at the Adelphi Hall started a joyous tradition and brought together most of our “landsmen” in the tri-state area.

In the early sixties, the Association expanded its relief activities, sending help to Poland, Israel and South America. Several substantial donations were sent to the Israeli Committee toward the publication of the Izkor Book.

On May 16, 1965, an important general meeting was held at the Atran Cultural House. Under a modified charter, a Fraternal Society was created and a proposal was set forth to acquire a substantial number of cemetery plots. Most of the present members immediately contributed generously to the project. A new cemetery committee was elected; Max Frackman, Henry Rosenstein, Jack Ajzenberg, Alex Koslowsky, and Ben James. In 1966, the Association bought 60 cemetery plots at the Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge, New Jersey and then decided to erect a monument at the site in honor of the 28,000 Martyrs of Piotrkow who perished in the Holocaust.

Past and present committee members of the Association within the last three decades
Past and present committee members of the Association within the last three decades

 

Ladies Auxiliary Committee members past and present
Ladies Auxiliary Committee members past and present

 

In 1967, a new committee was elected, consisting of Max Faywlowicz (chairman), Alex Koslovsky (cashier), Henry Rosenstein (secretary), Ben James (financial secretary), Pinchas Seidenberg (vice chairman), along with other members – Mike Faywlowicz, Max Frackman, Abram Jolinger, Juda Rosenblum, Joe Freiman and Al Rosenstein.

On May 25, 1967, all Association members participated in the Emergency Rally held at 72 Street and Riverside Drive in Manhattan on the Eve of the Israel's Six Day War.

In 1969 the Association gathered to dedicate the newly erected memorial at the Beth Israel cemetery in tribute to the 28,000 Martyrs of Piotrkow. The efforts of the Association were crowned by this impressive achievement.

During the early seventies. the Association was quite active, periodically organizing traditional events such as the Purim and Hannukah Parties and frequent benefits and meetings. Israel Bonds were bought in larger and larger quantities. Packages and money were generously dispensed to needy landsleit in Poland, Israel and elsewhere. Donations to various charities were made on a steady basis. In 1975, a surgical room at the Tel Hashomer Hospital in Israel was dedicated in the name of the Piotrkow Trybunalski Relief Association.

In 1976, the new chairman, Abram Jolinger, proposed a drive to include the Second Generation in the activities of the Association. This was really the beginning of a new era, one of getting the children involved – a move so successfully implemented in later years with the advent of the New Bulletin. In 1977, the noble tradition of “Kever Avoth,” the annual visit to the cemetery during “Yamin Noraim,” was initiated.

During the late seventies, the Association in New York sensed a stagnation in its development. Some of the senior Landsleit had passed away during the years. In addition, a considerable number of active members had moved away to Florida. Despite these difficulties, the Society continued to carry on its important work and tradition.

 

The New Bulletin Era

After the death of Roman Mogilanski in 1981, the old Bulletin, published since 1965, first by the Piotrkow and Vicinity Society and then by the Nazi Victims of Piotrkow, ceased to exist. Calls and letters from our Landsleit everywhere were pouring in. They all expressed concern and asked that the Bulletin should continue. In order to fulfill the wish of the people, the Association asked Ben Giladi, the former associate editor of the old Bulletin, to resume his work under the sponsorship of the Association. In June 1982, the New Bulletin was born.

The Executive Committee of our Second Generation
The Executive Committee of our Second Generation

 

From the beginning, this publication was a great success. Unity had finally set in. More and more readers embraced the new magazine, sharing the common goal of remembrance and identity. At present there are over 600 subscribers, which means over 1,000 readers, considering spouses and other family members. The Second Generation represents approximately one-third of the readership. The achievement of the Association, unknown to wider circles till now, finally started to surface. The cover of the first New Bulletin issue proudly displayed the impressive monument erected by the Association in memory of our Martyrs. The various Israel achievement awards, frequently presented to the Association, the Committee members, or to such extraordinary contributors as the Freimans, the Lustigs, and other members, were duly recorded – all for their outstanding participation in the Israeli Bond Program. It became a tradition that the annual Purim party would generate an intense Bond drive that showed the awareness, pride and compassion of the Association members toward our beloved homeland, Israel.

Pictures and reports of such Purim and other parties, events and gatherings, printed in the New Bulletin, reflected the true active life and vitality of the Association. In 1983, the wonderful Second Generation movement initiated by Alex Rosenblum started and grew. A group of devoted young people like Toby Schafer, Suzanne Ajzenberg, and others put toward their best efforts to organize and maintain contact with the children of Piotrkow survivors and other children as well. In 1983, at the Washington, D.C. Gathering, there were many Piotrkower parents and children. Our Second Generation was amply represented at the First International conference of Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors held in New York in 1984. The pages of the Bulletin proudly displayed reports on the professional, intellectual and artistic achievements not only of our survivors but also of their children. The annual Hazkarah, now widely attended by our people from the entire northeast region of the U.S. became a traditional symbol of remembrance. The representatives of the present committee are Jack Ajzenberg (president), Abram Jolinger (chairman), Mike Faywlowicz (vice president), Joe Gold (secretary), Henry Rosenstein (corresponding secretary), Mendel Kozlowski (Hevra Kadisha), and Paul Nash (treasurer). Ben Giladi is the editor of the New Bulletin. Several committee members passed away during recent years, namely Max Faywlowicz, Al Rosenstein and Max Milioner. The present Social Committee of the Ladies Auxiliary consists of Vera Ajzenberg, Frania Faywlowicz, Guta Giladi, Regina Gold, Jadzia Jolinger, Esther Nash, Hannah Kozlowski, Ruth Rosenstein and Anita Waksman. The ladies are very active and doing a remarkable job at the various events and functions of the Association. In general, during the last decade, the New York Association became, next to the Irgun Yotzei Piotrkow in Israel, the center for the entire world Piotrkower community. The most important achievement, however, is the wonderful relationship between both generations. There is a solemn legacy embraced by the children and their spouses, who are willing to continue the tradition which started more than a century ago. Even the third generation becomes more involved by writing moving poems and essays for the Bulletin, visiting our city, Piotrkow, with their parents and attending our events. In 1989, the monumental Book Project became a reality. The Association assumed the sponsorship of this so-important enterprise without hesitation. Now the pages of this Book, a profound legacy for future generations, are a jewel in the crown of achievements of the Piotrkow Trybunalski Relief Association in New York.

Compiled by B.G.

Annual Hazkara in New York – 1987
Annual Hazkara in New York – 1987

 

Ben Giladi, the editor of the New Bulletin
Ben Giladi, the editor of the New Bulletin

 

 

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