The Community of Swislocz,
Grodno District

(Svisloch, Belarus)

5302' / 2406'

Translation of
Kehilat Svislots; Pelekh Grodno

Edited by: H. Rabin

Tel Aviv, former residents of Swislocz in Israel, 1961

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Project Coordinator

William K. Rosenbloom


This is a translation from: Kehilat Svislots; Pelekh Grodno (The community of Swislocz, Grodno District)
ed. H. Rabin, Tel Aviv, former residents of Swislocz in Israel, 1961.

This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
This material may not be copied, sold or bartered without JewishGen, Inc.'s permission. Rights may be reserved by the copyright holder.

JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.


Our goal was to make the English version of Kehilat Svislots come alive by translating it as literally as possible.
We wanted to insure that the present and all future generations were able to hear the words in this book as they were spoken; to know the actual thoughts and words of those who remembered our families, and the place they called home.
The writers were not famous authors and wordsmiths skilled in the use of language.
Their concern was not the use of correct grammar, but rather, to preserve their memories of that time and that place.
You will certainly notice that, on occasion, certain ideas do not flow smoothly; there may be some incomplete thoughts, or some statements that just defy logic.
Certainly there is a frustration that comes with everyone's desire for words to flow like novels on the Best Seller List.
But balance that desire with the magic of hearing the words as they were spoken to us; think of Tevia, in Fiddler on the Roof, and you can almost hear some of these words and phrases coming from his mouth.
A particular favorite of ours is the description of Aaron Isaac in the “Teachers of Sislevitch” article: “a tall man, with a nice built front and starched white cuffs, a bib, a starched collar with cuff links and a black top hat. His pride was in his brown mustache and pointy beard.”
We can try to discern what the writer meant, that maybe he was handsome, muscular, fat, skinny, etc., etc.
But that would not be what was written, and in our opinion it would be sacrilege to try and interpret these words.
Please note that all comments in parentheses are that of the translator.


We humbly dedicate the translation of this book to the memory of all those who lost their lives through the senseless tragedy of the Holocaust.
We particularly remember our family members, Kaplan, Vigonsky, Rosenbloom, Lappe, and Liss, and share the sadness of loss with all those whose family or families perished.
We also dedicate this to Mr. Joe Rozenberg, a 79 year old survivor of the Lodz Ghetto, who possesses a wonderful knowledge of Jewish history and customs and a man with a genuine understanding of English, Yiddish, German, and Polish.
Joe is a perfectionist and has donated hundreds of hours of time translating the Yiddish portion of the book, going over each article countless times to insure each one was as accurate and literal as possible.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to Joe for all his help.




Translated by Sara Mages and Yocheved Klausner


Introduction The Editorial Board 5
We Will Remember H.S. Rubin 7
Svisloch Avraham Ayin 9
The history of the community of Svisloch R. Agushevitz 13
The Spiritual Leadership:    
Rabbi Meir Yona the commentator of “Haitur   19
The rabbis after R'Meir Yona   22
Rabbi Shneor Zalman Pines Of blessed memory   23
The Rav Rabbi Yosef Rosin Of blessed memory   24
Our Master Rabbi Mordechai Edelberg, May the Lord avenge his blood   25
The Rav R'Chaim Yakov Mishkinski Of blessed memory   28
Institutions of Torah, Education and Culture H.S. Rubin 31
Sislevitch and its Teachers [Y] Elijah Ein 36
The “Modern Heder” [the modern school] N. Eden 45
The Hebrew School in Svisloch S. Finkelstein 46
Memories and experiences from my studies at school S. Finkelstein 50
My town Svisloch Yakov Niv 52
From my memories following a list of names Naftali Eden 57
Intellectuals in Svisloch [Y] Eliyahu Ayin 59
The social life in Svisloch in our generation David Zilberblat 65
The beginning of “Tzeirei Zion” Movement in Svisloch Y.D. Agushevits 68
From the history of Zionism in our town Feivel Ziontz Of blessed memory 69
“God's candle was not extinguished” Naftali Eden 71
“The Synagogue Street” Z. Finkelstein 74
My grandfather R'David Maizel Of blessed memory S. Finkelstein 78
Shmuel Goldberg Of blessed memory Z. P-N 79
Svisloch in our Generation [Y] Keile Zakota 81
My friend Feivel Rubin May the Lord avenge his blood H.S. Rubin 88
Memories from my home [lit. my father's house] Yafa Szpak- Ravitzki 91
Avigdor Brezintski May the Lord avenge his blood Z. Finkelstein 94
In their memory S. Finkelstein 96
The Jewish settlements near Svisloch N. Eden 98
The Revenge on the Inspector [Y] Eliyahu Ayin 99
Oh, my Little Town! [Y] Dvora Eden 105
The destruction of Svisloch A. Ayin 108
The terrible torture that Svisloch's Jews endured in the Volkavisk Ghetto The Editor 112
Testimony Mrs. Winkelstein 115
From Yerachmiel's letter, a Svisloch Partisan   116
I am a woman who saw destitution Gitel Slepek-Schechter 118
Svisloch [Y] M. Lis 130
My wanderings Moshe Rubin 132
From a letter [Y] Yakov Panter 135
Avraham Ayin Of blessed memory The Editor 140
Twelve Years of Relief Work [Y] Avraham Ayin 141

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Contact person for this translation  William K. Rosenbloom
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Updated 9 Jul 2010 by LA