[Page 75 - Hebrew]
In Memory of the Donors and Benefactors from Overseas
We will include here letters of greeting that were printed in the booklets that were published by the Organization for the Assistance of the Community of Zuromin in the United States from the years 1939, 1947, and 1953.
A historical survey of the establishment of the Committee for Assistance of Zuromin in New York.
In the chaos that followed the First World War, in which Jews participated in the battlefields of Europe with the aim of opening up vistas and establishing just governments, they had hoped that they would be granted rights among the population in whose midst they live. However, what we did see was that despite the battles that they fought, they received oppression and stifling suppression in return. However Israel, the stubborn Jew, refused to be destroyed, either as a nation or as an individual. As if to provoke their sworn enemies throughout the world, they fought valiantly for their lives and existence, in such a way that had never been seen in history. Under these conditions, it was possible to expect that they would turn to their more fortunate brethren in the United States, and that is indeed what happened.
In response to this, in March 1927, 806 dollars were sent to the loan fund and 200 to Maos Chittin. In the meantime, the situation there continued to worsen from year to year, so that in March 1937, a call went forth from the committee of the loan fund to strengthen the organization that served as the sole support for tradesmen and small-scale businessmen, for there were now more borrowers, and it was impossible to provide for their needs. In April, we had a special meeting in the home of Yisrael Opatowski, under the leadership of the author of this article, and it was unanimously decided there to collect donations immediately. Thanks to the generosity of our fellow natives, in August, an initial sum of 1,080 dollars was sent.
However it did not conclude with this. In December of that year, a friendly gathering was arranged with positive results, especially from a spiritual sense. In March 1938, 225 dollars were sent for Maos Chittin. Eight months later, a theater performance was arranged in order to provide direct support for those who had already lost their livelihood and could not even be helped by the loan fund. We sent 200 dollars for this group in November 1938. In December of that year, we sent 200 dollars to the charitable fund. In fact, this was not sufficient, for they were already supporting approximately 300 borrowers. We prepared to publish booklets for the benefit of the fund, and the matter was arranged speedily as these lines were being written. We already see the buds, which in itself is a cause for joy. I hereby stress that it is a great honor to be leading this matter, especially with the participation of the donors in the town. In my conscience, I sense the responsible work that has been placed upon me, and will be carried out to the best of my ability as time passes, and I hope to be able to continue serving in matters that affect my hometown of Zuromin.
By Gedalia Michaelson
[Page 76 - Hebrew]
Translated from Hebrew by Jerrold Landau
When the Committee for Assistance of Zuromin set for itself the prime goal of assisting the tradesmen and small-scale merchants through a loan fund and direct assistance to the group that lost all possibility of existence, there remained another very important group that was left without protection and without hope for assistance. This was the group of young children, the future generation, the strong dreamers for a world of justice and humanity. This idea always ignited the maternal feelings of mercy of the group of Zuromin women in New York, and finally the matter materialized. This was at the end of December 1937 when Mrs. Mindel Bruk of Zuromin was visiting New York. She visited my home and, with an agonized heart, told about the suffering and hunger of the Jewish children, who see the Christian children being supported amply by the Polish population. With moving words, Mrs. Bruk requested us to remember the poor Jewish children of Zuromin. The writer of these lines decided that evening to set up a women's organization that would support the Milk Fund for the children of Zuromin. We convened a meeting of friends in the home of Sarah Levi on January 31, 1938. After my husband Gedalia Michaelson stressed the importance of establishing a women's organization, the establishment of the committee of Zuromin women was announced on the spot in the presence of Mrs. Bruk and her sister. 25 dollars was collected on the spot. Pauline Michaelson was chosen as chairwoman, and Bella Opatowski as her deputy. The treasurer was Celia Friedman (Moszinski), and Letti Silberman was the secretary. Sarah Levi, Sarah Cohen and Etty Schweizer were also on the committee. This was the beginning of the organization that numbered 17 sisters. At the following meeting, we already dealt with the sending of money for the Milk Fund, and we decided to send 25 dollars each month. The first 50 dollars were sent in June 1938, and I can point out with joy that to this point, we have already sent 300 dollars to cover the coming monthly expenses until June 1939. These were our activities during the brief period of one year, from the establishment of the sisterhood organization. This achievement was thanks to the dedicated work and joint work of the sister-members, who banded together for this pleasant task. In the name of the participants of the various activities, and in the name of all of the sisters in general, I have the honor of expressing my appreciation to you, as well as to the sisters who are overseas, for your assistance (under difficult conditions) in the massive work in helping the young, defenseless Jewish children.
of the financial aid in the United States from the
beginning of the century until 1945 for the Maot
Chittin and Gemilut Chasadim
distribution of milk and rolls in the community of Zuromin in 1938
From right to left, top row: 5 unknown, Avraham Rizowi, Binyamin Leib Rakower, unknown,
Shmuel Karta, Aryeh David Rakower, Shmuel Listopad, Izak Szpilman, Moshe Karta.
The volunteers: Mrs. Lanet, Chana Skoropa, Malka Gruszka, Esther Rozenblum, Mindel Bruk,
Rachel Lewkowicz, Gribski, Chana Fruchobnik, Gittel Frajdenberg, Pesa Sokolower, Hinda Lekajn,
Tova Mitlo, Nicha Mundzek.
Middle row: Shimon Listopad, Nicha Kuner, Sara Listopad, 3 unknown.
Seated: 7 unknown, Yeshayahu Gelbfarb, Avraham Leib Kasziwicz, Yitzchak Yaakov Dragon,
Yaakov Hodesman, Yisrael Yaakov Szlesinger, Michael Kulba, Moshe Szlesinger, unknown,
Shmuel Meir Sokol, Chaim Kwalcz Sokol.
Seated on the ground: unknown, Shmuel Karta, 10 unknown, Gittel Bekerman,
Reizl Bekerman, unknown
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Updated 29 Feb 2008 by LA