On June 19, 1932 a parade marking the fiftieth anniversary of the "Chovevei Zion" (The Lovers of Zion) movement and the thirtieth anniversary of the "Keren Kayemeth leIsrael" Fund took place in Kibart. Bicyclists headed the parade, their wheels decorated with blue and white stripes, followed by marching members of "Maccabi" and a band playing. After them came "WIZO" women, and then the uniformed "haShomer-haTzair" members led by Joseph Bartenshtein and Aryeh Shadchanovitz, and "Beitar" members led by Moshe Chashman. Many Jews joined the parade, which made its way along the main street and from there by buses to the town park in Virbalis, where the celebration ended with speeches, shows and dances.
The central office of "heChalutz" organization purchased a farm in the vicinity of Kibart, naming it "Kibbush" (conquest), which was the biggest "Hachshara" (training) farm in Lithuania, where "Halutzim" (pioneers) candidates for "Aliya" were trained in agriculture. The Zionist youth of Kibart' and Virbalis were in close contact with this farm and supported it as much as possible.
In 1932 an "Urban Kibbutz" was established , consisting of a few tens of "Halutzim" and "Halutzoth." It contained workshops for shoemaking as well as dressmaking and knitting for women and its members also worked in several factories in town, thanks to the unflagging efforts of Zisl Kovensky. The Kibbutz existed until 1936.
First line, from right: Tuviah Yasovsky, ---, Yerachmiel Voskoboinik (Chalutz), ---, ---, ---, ---, Benyamin Vidomliansky, ---, Shalom Vidomliansky
Second line: Yisrael Ziman, ---, Moshe Svirsky, Batyah Slavotzky, Avraham Chashman, ---
Third line: 3 Halutzoth
The daily Yiddish newspaper "Dos Vort" (Word) of December 17, 1934 published a story about a party which took place in this kibbutz on the occasion of the Aliya of four girls (Halutzoth) and in honor of Z.Kovensky, who contributed very much to the establishment and consolidation of the Kibbutz, and the party opened with a speech by the "heChalutz" activist Yerachmiel Voskoboinik. Generally Kovensky's house was the center of Zionist activity in Kibart, and all those delegates of "heChalutz" and "haShomer-haTzair" from Eretz-Israel who came to Kibart, would be accommodated in Kovensky's house. At some time, the "Maon" (Club) of "haShomer-haTzair" was in an empty shop of this house, given to the movement free of charge, the equipment of the "Maccabi" sports organization being stored in Kovensky's storeroom. Contact with the "haShomer-haTzair" movement in Poland, which was much bigger and stronger than in Lithuania, was kept up through Z.Kovensky, who for this purpose rented a post office box in Eydtkuhnen. Material from Warsaw would be sent to this P.O.Box and Z.Kovensky would bring it from there and send it to the leadership of the movement in Kovno. It should be pointed out that until 1938 there were no direct diplomatic relations between Lithuania and Poland, and this was the only way to keep up in touch with the movement in Poland.First line from right: A.Rezvin, Y.Mirbuch, Shatenshtein, B.Vidomliansky, B,Tzichak
Second line: R.Berniker, M.Chlamnovitz, F.Tilzer, Gershater, A.Shadchanovitz, Y.Gidansky, Sh.Borochovitz
Third line: S.Frenkel, S.Manheim, ---, Y.Kovensky, Gershater
Fourth line: Gershater, Sh.Bartenshtein
Z. Kovensky, who was on good terms with the gendarmes at the border crossing, used to take young "Halutzim" across the border to Eydtkuhnen on their way to Eretz-Israel before recruitment to the Lithuanian Army, fixing the passage for a few hundred Lit.
All "Olim" (emigrants) to Eretz-Israel went by train and thus passed through the Kibart station, where more people who would also join them, making this a joyful, exciting and sometimes also an amusing event. In order to utilize every "Aliya Permission" (Certificate) which the British mandatory authorities agreed to grant, every "Halutz" married some girl fictitiously and thus brought her to Eretz-Israel legally too. There were cases when the fictitious couple met at the station in Kibart' for the very first time, and sometimes shouts could be heard of someone looking for his "wife" whom he had never met before. There were years, mainly in the thirties, when every few weeks groups of "Halutzim" passed through Kibart's railway station. Lots of Jews would fill the station, and the cylinder shaped hats with a badge on them worn by gendarmes who were at least 1.80 meter tall, could be seen over the heads of the crowd.
The "haShomer-haTzair" organization started off in Kibart' in the early twenties, and many children and youths received their Zionist education in this movement. Because of the semi-fascist rule which existed in Lithuania during most of its independence, this movement was called "The Hebrew Scouts Organization haShomer-haTzair" and to the outside it really appeared as such. The uniforms and the activities were similar to scouts, only in the "Maon" there were discussions about Eretz-Israel, socialism etc., everything according to the age of the members. Among the members of the movement in Kibart' who emigrated to Eretz-Israel and of whom some of them joined Kibbutzim there were: Jehudith Borochovitz-Jaron, Shlomo Blotnik, Sarah Blotnik-Harari, Joseph Bartenshtein, Chana Staravolsky, Avraham Leibovitz-BenYehuda (the authors cousin), Moshe Melamed, Moshe Borovik, Shalom Vidomliansky-Shacham and others.
First line from right: S.Yurkansky, Z.Kovensky, Ch.Toker, Y.Lubotzky, Hofman, J.Borochovitz
Second line: Y.Kovensky, M.Melamed, Ch.Ofseyevitz, Sh.Blotnik, A.Shapira, Pintchuk, Sh.Abramson, M.Svirsky, J.Shapira
Third line: H.Kisetz, ---, Magiliuker, Sh.Zarko, M.Linde, A.Katzizne, S.Yebart, E.Blotnik
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