Edited by Fay Bussgang
Being the descendant of a great and extended Brzeziner mishpokhe [family], he also has not forgotten his origins, although he lived from 1916 to 1933 in Kutno, a well-known shtetl in Poland, where, incidentally, he was a town councilman. (The shtetl became famous due to the classic writings of Sholem Asch.) He became particularly active in the Brzeziner colony after the great destruction, and of late, he is the financial officer of the local lay-kase [credit union] that is regulated by and under the control of the Israeli government. He is represented in our sefer [book] with an important chapter in which two Brzeziner families are portrayed. In the depiction of these extended families, we see the kver-shnit [cross section] of an old, deeply rooted Jewish life in Brzezin.
His entire family was murdered in the great destruction, among them, his daughter, who was a gifted artist. It is only by chance that he came to Isroel. He came as a yoyred [expatriate]. He lost everything in the great destruction, all his possessions. It so happens that years ago, he had invested a little money in a certain Eretz Isroel business undertaking, which now provides him with the means to manage his affairs. At the beginning, the business did not do very well. Over time, things got better, and he was able to succeed in a very middle class, comfortable way.
In those years, he was not active in landslayt [fellow townsmen] circles. When Shikkun Brzezin [Brzeziner apartment project] came into existence, he became active and would often show up in Brzeziner circles. With J. D. Berg's arrival in Israel, an old friendship was renewed that went as far back as their kheyder [religious school] years. They both had studied with the same teachers. Now they carry on a regular correspondence, and Pinczewski is strongly interested in all landsmanshaft [society of fellow townsmen] matters. He is also represented in our book by a significant chapter, Brzeziner Rabbis and Hasidim, which describes an important part of the Brzeziner Jewish community.
In Israel, he is close to our landslayt. They organize themselves into their own circle and look for mutual assistance from each other. Mojsze Szajnberg once traveled to America, and he wanted to build a bridge between the American and Israeli landslayt. He believes that there has to be closer contact between these two communities, because the majority of our remaining landslayt are concentrated within them.
In Israel, he is one of the most active of our circle, and he was involved, with heart and soul, in the work when the housing project of Kfar Uno was being built. Szajnberg is also represented in this sefer with an important chapter about the youth and pioneer movement in Brzezin.
He has also been in Israel for a long time and has become acclimated to the way of life here, although he is not estranged from the past. He feels that the endeavor to immortalize our shtetl, both through the buildings in Israel and through this Sefer Brzezin, is truly a holy work. He is an honorable and devoted leader among our landslayt in Israel.
At one time, before the deluge, he was a central figure in Brzezin's communal organizations. Now he lives quietly and modestly in Israel and is active in the communitythough certainly not as before in Brzezinand he is also in close contact with the local landslayt. He is represented in our book by an excellent chapter encompassing generations of Brzeziner life. He relates how Brzezin first became a tailoring center, and he describes the various segments of Brzezin's organized society in his interesting account.
He has lived in Israel for many decades. He was among the first to settle in Israel, with pure unconditional love. He lived through the difficult, thorny ways of chalutzism [pioneering]. He lived in Kfar-Saba, where he was engaged for many years in raising chickens and also had a small soda water factory. All the years he has been in Israel, under all sorts of conditions, he has remained true to the roots of his soul. He is strongly committed to religious Judaism. He lives as his ancestors did. Ideologically, he is close to Poalei Mizrachi [religious Socialist Zionism].
His daily discourse and the occasional droshes [sermons] that he gives before an audience are always intertwined with maymer khazal [wise sayings] and with simple examples and sayings of our old khokhmim [wise men].
Although his home is far from the main center, he is bound with all his being to the activities of the landslayt of our shtetl. When the Shikkun Brzezin was built in Kfar Uno, he thought of it as a symbolic accomplishment, since the way of life of our Brzeziner generations that had been destroyed could now continue in our own land. Many years ago, he was in America on a short visit, and he left a good impression, with his observant piety and simplicity.
This observant and Hasidic, scholarly world, of which he alone is heir, permeates his beautiful composition in our book.
He was closely tied to Political Zionism, with the idea of building his own independent, nationalistic life on his own Jewish soil. When he was already in Israel, he turned Revisionist and became allied with the extreme right wing of the Zionist movement.
He came to Israel through Russia, where he was active in Zionist circles, and in order to support his family, he engaged in trade. He built a leather factory. Although not a very wealthy man, he became respectably middle class.
He is extremely busy with his business and also with community matters, but he never forgets for one minute his Brzeziner landslayt. He is always involved with activities for his Brzeziners.
When the relief work began for the survivors, for those who were rescued from the Nazi death camps by a miracle, he threw himself, with heart and soul, into this holy work. He became chairman of the Israeli Relief Committee, a position he held until his untimely departure to the eternal world. He virtually gave his life for this work. He did not spare his own health, because he felt the extraordinary importance of organizing assistance for the victims of Hitler.
When the building of the Shikkun Brzezin was completed in Kfar Uno, he viewed the great historical accomplishment of our landslayt as a purely personal triumph, as a great yontov [holiday] in his life. He was practically breathless and feverish over this work. We know of many letters he sent to landslayt in America; he spoke to them with terrific enthusiasm and warmth about this accomplishment of ours. He could foresee that the disrupted generations would again spin our Brzeziner way of life on Israeli soil.
When he saw the progress of this Sefer Brzezin, he was overcome with tremendous joy. First, we had raised a monument of concrete and brick, meaning the Shikkun Brzezin [apartment complex and culture house], and now, with this third endeavor, we would end with a written memorial for future generations in which we would describe the destruction of our Brzeziner community and the generations that existed before the deluge.
Unfortunately, to our great sorrow, he did not live to see the great moment of the conclusion of this project. It would certainly have given him great pleasure. He also intended to contribute an important, significant chapter about certain aspects of the Brzeziner way of life. He did not even have time to prepare it, which is truly a great pity, but even greater is the loss of his own illustrious personality.
He had his home in Jerusalem. He considered it a special rare honor to live in the holy city.
He leaves his wife, Blume, three gifted, intelligent daughters and one son, all devoted heirs to his life's dreams.
Koved zayn ondenk! [Honor to his memory!]
JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of
the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material
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.
Brzeziny, Poland Yizkor Book Project JewishGen Home Page
Copyright © 1999-2017 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 25 Jun 2008 by LA