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[Page 125]

Dr. Shlomo Goldberg

Translated by Susan Rosin

 

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While still in high school, young Shlomo Goldberg was influenced by the Hibbat Zion (The love of Zion) movement that encouraged the studying youth to join Zionist activities. The air of nationalism and progress in the home completed the Zionist environment that young Shlomo was exposed to.

After graduating from high school at the beginning of the twentieth century Shlomo left to study law in Vienna where he joined the Zionist circles. He spent his free time recruiting other students for the Zionist movement.

After the war he returned to Stryj where while practicing law he was one of the most prominent leaders of the Zionist movement. After the ousting of the assimilators in Stryj, Dr. Goldberg was elected the head of the Kehila.

Later he was elected deputy mayor on behalf of the Zionist movement. He was the first one to obtain fund allocations for Jewish national purposes from the local government.

He was a strong willed and principled person and as such was not skilled in political maneuvering. This caused many times friction between him and his friends and cost him even prestigious public positions.

In spite of his “stiffness”, Dr. Goldberg was an activist who believed whole heartedly in the Zionist idea and acted upon it in his public work and was always prepared to help his town people in their time of need.


Dr. Benjamin Millbauer

Translated by Susan Rosin

 

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Dr. Benjamin Millbauer was born in Bolechów to a teacher of Jewish religion. He studied medicine in Vienna and Prague and was dedicated to Zionist public service, which was unusual among the physicians. He played an important part in the public and Zionist organizations in town either as a chairperson or an active committee member. He visited Eretz Israel and upon his return he praised Israel and spoke to Stryj's Jewry about his experiences.


Moshe Aaron Wohlmut

by Zvi Wohlmut

Translated by Susan Rosin

 

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Moshe Aaron Wohlmut was a man of the people whose mark was in all areas of public Jewish life. For years he served in the city government and as a member of the Kehila committee. He dedicated his time, energy and resources to all the benevolent institutions in town. But above all he was a dedicated Zionist. In Zionism he found a rest for his soul

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and his calling. His Zionism was not limited to Eretz Israel only, but encompassed the Jewish tradition with all its humanistic values.

He was an intellectual and a Hebrew scholar and lover of the Torah. He was devoted to Hebrew education and the spread of Hebrew culture. He was one of the leaders of the various Zionist funds and was a tireless fund raiser. At the same time he was an active member of the “Ivriya” society and aided the “Safa Brura” school.

His happiest days occurred during his visit to Eretz Israel in February 1933. He toured the country visiting its towns, villages, settlements and kibbutzim. His love for Israel could be gleaned from his letters. Upon his return he spoke to Stryj's Jewry about his visit, about the fields in the valley and about the Tzabarim (native–born Israelis) with whom he was able to talk in Hebrew – the only language they knew.

Since his visit he never stopped dreaming about immigrating with his family to Eretz Israel as he felt the danger in Poland. Unfortunately he was not able to fulfill his dream. In the race against time, he and his family were trapped in Poland.


Benjamin Klein

by Dr. Ada Barlev Klein

Translated by Susan Rosin

 

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Benjamin Klein was born in Stryj to an observant and distinguished family, was given an orthodox upbringing and attended Beit Hamidrash. Young Benjamin like others in his generation, among them Zvi Diesendruk, read secular books which he hid under the Gmara. He was influenced by the national Zionist movement at the beginning of the twentieth century, left the “Gele Kloiz” where he studied and showed–up one day at home shaved and wearing a short coat bewildering his entire family.

Like other youth who were unable to study in school he was an autodidact. He showed talents in music, drawing and carving. He was unable to develop any of these due to the lack of understanding of his ultra–orthodox parents.

During the First World War he served in the military orchestra. After the war he worked as a bookkeeper at the bank of Dr. Z. Presser and later at his father's rabbi Shmuel Klein bank. Later he became a merchant.

But first and foremost, Benjamin was a dedicated public servant. He was devoted to the Jewish affairs, the institutions and the Zionist movement. He was one of the leaders, member and chairperson of the Zionist, social and public institutions. In public life he was frank, honest and moderate.

Leaders, lecturers and public activists used to stay in his cultural Jewish home when visiting Stryj.

He was well liked by the people. When he was arrested in 1938 by the Polish Anti–Semitic authorities under false accusations, the community was quick to provide moral and material help. He felt he should leave Poland and immigrate to Eretz Israel. But, like many others he delayed his departure too long and perished in the holocaust with the rest of the community to which he had devoted the greater part of his life.


Dov (Berl) Stern
(Passed away 4th of Tishrei, 5706 – September 11th, 1945)

Translated by Susan Rosin

 

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Dov (Berl) Stern was one of the earliest Zionists in town during the Herzl era, a popular figure who took upon himself any task in the Zionist work. He immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1925 and earned his living as a laborer.

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His home served as a first “inn” for new arrivals from Stryj. He was highly respected and admired by the new arrivals from his town and was always ready to help them with advice and support in their first steps in the new country. He passed away in Eretz Israel at a ripe old age.


Meir Frankel
(Passed away 22nd of Kislev 5714 – November 29th, 1953)

Translated by Susan Rosin

 

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Meir Frankel, a native of Mościska immigrated to Eretz Israel before the First World War but had to return to the diaspora due to an illness. He settled in Stryj and was an active member of the general Zionist organization, “Toynbee Hall”, “Zion” association and the Foundation Fund. He joined the “Al Hamishmar” group and in 1932 returned to Eretz Israel. He worked as an official in the community and later in the Tel–Aviv municipality.

He was always ready to assist those in need. He was active in the Stryj organization in Israel. He lived to see the establishment of the State of Israel.


Dr. Moshe Barlev (Reinhartz)

Translated by Susan Rosin

 

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All members of the Reinhartz family joined the pioneer (Halutz) youth movements and prepared themselves for immigration to Eretz Israel during the period of the second (1904 – 1914) and third (1919 – 1923) Aliyah. Young Moshe was brought up in a pioneer–Zionist atmosphere at home and while still in high school joined the Zionist movement.

After graduating from high school he studied economics and eastern studies in Liège, Belgium. After graduation he was a director of a commerce school.

Because he was dedicated to the popular–national movement, he soon joined the “Hitahdut” party – the eastern Galicia Zionist workers' party. He contributed greatly to establishing and then expanding the Socialist Zionist Academic Society (Z.A.S). This society was a different from the other academic societies and was based on democratic principles that helped define the intellectual workers in Eretz Israel.

In 1934 he immigrated to Eretz Israel with his wife Dr. Ada Barlev–Klein, the daughter of rabbi Shmuel Klein. In Israel he was a commander in the “Haganah”. In the Second World War he served in the British army. He was a treasurer and a member of the management at the “Hamat” industries. In 1959 he started working in the academic worker section of the Histadrut (the Workers' organization). He was instrumental in establishing the department for the academics and graduates in the humanities. He also served as a judge of the Histadrut Supreme court.

He was instrumental in establishing the Stryj organization in Israel before the war. He was on the board of the organization and initiated the idea of publishing the Stryj “Yizkor” book and dedicated much of his time to realize the dream of the survivors both in Israel and the diaspora to memorialize the holocaust victims of the town.

He died suddenly during a meeting of the Histadrut committee.


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Abraham (Buczi) Apfelgruen

Translated by Susan Rosin

 

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Abraham Apfegruen was one of the most outstanding leaders of the “Mizrahi” in Stryj. He was an active public leader and the chairperson of the “Mizrahi” for many years and the chairperson of the Jewish National Fund for two years. He represented his party in Zionist, public and economic institutions in town. He was a man learned in Torah, pleasant and of dignified appearance. He was a “gabai” in the Meir Shalom synagogue and was well liked because of his pleasant nature.


Rachel Katz

by P. Avineri – Katz

Translated by Susan Rosin

 

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Rachel Katz was born in Stryj in 1877. Her family lineage went back to the middle ages and included such famous persons as the Gaon rabbi Naphtali Katz, who was the rabbi of Posen (Poznań), the “Shelah ha–Kadosh” (Isaiah HaLevi Horovitz 1565 – 1630), “Pene Yehoshua” (Joshua ben Alexander HaCohen Falk Katz 1555–1614).

Generations of Torah and faith made her a God fearing, people loving and bright person – characteristics that guided her in her public work and personal life.

Her father rabbi Joseph Katz was the deputy mayor and head of the kehila of Itzkany (Iţcani) in Bukovina. Her mother was an outstanding righteous woman. Rachel inherited her expression ability, public speaking talent, imagination and sense of humor from her father and the perception of justice and honesty from her mother.

She was a well–educated woman and gained much respect and admiration even outside of Stryj.

She was one of the early graduates of the Polish Liceum in Stryj. Among the other notable graduates of this institution were: Dr. Helena Rosenman, Helena Preis, Dr. Byk and other well educated Stryj women. All her life she continued to learn and inspired other young women in Stryj.

She fought for the emancipation and equal rights for Jewish women. She started her activities in earnest in women's charity organizations such as “Ezrat Nashim” (Women's Aid) and “Kreuzer Verein” which heralded the involvement of Jewish women in public life in Stryj.

In 1897, K. Lippa, a relative of Rachel Katz stopped in Stryj on his way from the first Zionist Congress in Basel to Bukovina and brought the message of national revival. During his stay in town, a group was organized to disseminate the ideas of Zionism and the national culture. The group included: Dr. Maximilian Sheinfeld, Dr. S. Goldberg, Dr. Schiff and Rachel Katz, the only woman.

However, during that period, Rachel mostly dedicated herself to working on restoring the self–respect of the Jewish woman and help for young girls and Jewish orphans. She founded the “Women's Club” (Ognisko Kobiet) and the Jewish Girls' Shelter (Ochronka dla Dziewcząt Zydowskich). The shelter was her favorite charity. Poor girls were helped with their studies, received a hot meal, clothing and sometimes even money for their parents. The shelter was named after Rachel following her death.

Rachel appeared on the political arena first in 1907 and then in 1911. She was a gifted public speaker who campaigned on behalf of the Zionist candidates to the Austrian parliament – Dr. Abraham Salz in 1907 and later Dr. Leon Reich.

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Rachel played a major part in establishing the school “Safa Brura” that was instrumental in spreading the Hebrew language among the town's youth. She influenced establishing similar schools in other towns. Due to all her Zionist activities she was inscribed in the first “Golden Book” in 1911 before she was 34 years old.

The Balfour declaration in 1917 brought a rise in national pride and hope. Many volunteered for action. In a major gathering, Rachel spoke to the crowd in one of her most brilliant speeches.

In 1918 – 1919 during the short rule of the Ukrainians in eastern Galicia the Jews gained some autonomy. Rachel was one of the initiators and the activists in the national council (“nationalrat”) that was established to represent Galician Jews. She was active in the Zionist institutions, philanthropic initiatives and municipal issues concerning the Jewish population. In the municipal election she was placed on the list behind Dr. Presser, but gained the maximum number of votes, a testament to the respect and admiration by the town's people. In the municipality she was well liked and respected even by the Polish and Ukrainian council members. After her death, the Polish mayor in the obituary said: “None of us will ever be able to do what Mrs. Katz did and accomplished”.

The number of needy families increased in the first years of the Polish rule (after the war). With funds from “The Joint”, Rachel opened a soup kitchen where volunteers took turns. She was elected as the “Joint” representative to travel to the US, but refused to use public funds to travel…

When Zionist women organized WIZO and young WIZO, Rachel joined–in and helped establish branches in eastern Galicia towns. She traveled to lecture and reached even Krakow. Her clear style and ability to influence drew large audiences. She also organized classes for Jewish girls to learn practical skills to be prepared for pioneer life in Eretz Israel. As a fighter for women's rights, she demanded that housekeeping will be recognized as a respectable work. In many regards she was ahead of her times…

She was also a talented writer and her articles were published in the Zionist newspapers “Opinia” (Opinion) and “Chwila” (Moment). She donated her royalties to charity.

Rachel was also active in another area – behind closed doors. Many people came to her discuss their hardships and seek her advice. Rachel was always ready to help away from the public eye.

Stryj was so blessed to have this woman in our town. Her life was full of vision and activity, truly the embodiment of “love thy neighbor” commandment, purity of spirit, honesty, understanding and education all combined in this woman of outstanding character.


Dr. Malka Leibowitz

Translated by Susan Rosin

Dr. Malka Leibowitz was one of the outstanding women of Stryj. She was active between the two World Wars and her talents made her a natural leader from a young age.

Dr. Leibowitz was a person of common sense and clarity of thought, possessing excellent organizational skills, energetic and dynamic public speaker. From an early age she willingly dedicated herself to any public role.

While still in high school, she was a leader of the “Hashomer Hatzair” in Stryj and continued to be active in the movement when she was a medical student. She was a member of the centralized activities of “Hashomer Hatzair” in Warsaw. Those who remember her from that period of time can never forget the endearing, heart–warming and popular figure that was always surrounded by young people who admired and loved their devoted leader.

She was unable to fulfil her dream of immigrating to Eretz Israel with the young people she led, most likely because of her family situation.

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After completing medical school, Malka continued in her public activities. She did much for the health of the poor Jewish population and initiated and established public health institutions for Jewish children. She was well liked and respected by the Jewish population in Stryj. Malka was determined not to be captured by the Nazi murderers and took her own life.


Aryeh (Leib) Schwamer

Translated by Susan Rosin

 

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Aryeh Schwamer was born in Bolechow and raised in a traditional family. Later he was able to acquire general education and was trained in trade and economics. Until 1921 he managed a branch of the Phoenix in Krakow and then he managed a Loan Bank in Stryj until the holocaust.

From an early age he showed much interest in political and public life. Until 1914 he was a member of the Territorialism party. He then joined “Poalei Zion”, and later, when the “Hitahdut” party was established in Stryj he became an active and dedicated member until the holocaust.

He was a chairman of “Hitahdut” and vice–chairman of the “Arbeitsgemeinschaft” for many years, was a delegate to the Zionist Congress and a member of the city council. For many years he was active in the various Zionist and economic organizations such as the Jewish National Fund and the Foundation Fund, the “Merchants Society” and others. He was member of the board for the party conventions in Lvov and a permanent member of the national council of the party.

He was a pleasant person, always considerate and ready with advice for those who came to ask his opinion. He was always prepared to help others and was a model public figure who was popular in all circles.


Dr. Azriel Eisenstein

Translated by Susan Rosin

 

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Dr. Eisenstein was born in a village near Skole, attended high school in Stryj and received his law degree from the Lvov University. He joined the “Hitahdut” party and was one of its outstanding figures. While in Lvov he was a member of the national council of the party. When he moved to Stryj, he represented his party in the municipal council, the kehila, the “Arbeitsgemeinschaft” and the lawyers' organization.


David Zeidman

Translated by Susan Rosin

 

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David Zeidman was born in Skala and moved with his family to Stryj at the beginning of World War one. His family was orthodox and his father, rabbi Israel Zeidman was a merchant who studied Torah in his free time.

David showed interest in politics and public service from a young age. He was worldly–wise and familiar with local municipal issues and the various parties. He helped his father in his business, but his real passion was public service and the greater good. His shrewdness, negotiations skills and his power of persuasion made him one of the most prominent Zionist and national figures in our town. His activism stemmed from his will

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to help resolve the issues of Jews of his town. He did not act on any party's behalf and did not have an agenda and goals to achieve and had no inclination to become an official with authority. In spite of this he was very influential in town.

Originally he joined the “Hitahdut” party and was active in the Jewish National Fund, the Founding Fund and “HeHalutz”. As a member of “Arbeitsgemeinschaft”, he was active in the Kehila, the municipality and the elections for Polish Sejm. His incentive was to achieve results and therefore he mostly dedicated himself to work with the Halutzim (pioneers), those who implemented the Zionist ideology into actuality by immigrating to Eretz Israel.

He was influenced by Ze'ev Jabotinsky to join the revisionist camp. The idea of the immediate establishment of a Jewish state fascinated him. He eventually joined the faction of Meir Grossman.

Even as a member of a specific political party he was not a harsh adversary, a trait that made him liked even by his political opponents.


Eliyahu Waldman

Translated by Susan Rosin

 

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Eliyahu Waldman was a dedicated activist for Aliyah. He endangered himself sometimes in his efforts to obtain certificates for the Halutzim and other immigrants. He was helped by his good friend David Zeidman.

Many of those who left Stryj and live in Israel owe their ability to leave to Eliyahu Waldman.

He was the grandson of rabbi Isaac (Itshe) Hauptman Shub (“Shohet Ubodek”, Slaughterer and Inspector) and was the secretary of the Jewish hospital for many years. He visited Eretz Israel.


Aaron Meller

Translated by Susan Rosin

 

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Aaron Meller was born in Stryj to an orthodox family and was a student and scholar of Beit Hamidrash. In his youth he joined the Hebrew movement and was one of the first active members of the “Agudat HaIvriya” (Hebrew Society) and one of the early Hebrew speakers in our town. He was a member of the Hitahdut party from the start and represented it in many institutions. Since he was a Hebrew intellectual, he lectured and conducted many classes for Hebrew literature and Bible. He was a member of the national council of the party, the board in Stryj and a member of the Israeli office of the party in Lvov. He visited Eretz Israel.


Joshua Oberlaender

Translated by Susan Rosin

Joshua Oberlander was born to an orthodox family and was a student and scholar of Beit Hamidrash. In his youth he joined the Hebrew circle which centered at ”Agudat HaIvriya” and was a true zealot for modern Hebrew and activist in the society for many years.

He was an active member of the Hitahdut party and in 1925 its chairman in Stryj. He was an active member of Zionist committees, and took part in the public life of the Jewish community in town.


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Ben–Zion Garfunkel

Translated by Susan Rosin

 

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Ben–Zion Garfunkel was born in Stryj, belonged to the “Hashomer Hatzair” and was the librarian of the “Ivriya Society” for many years. He was a clerk by profession and was among the earliest members of the “Hitahdut” party. For many years Ben–Zion was the party secretary, and he was elected as the party's representative to the Danzig convention. He played many roles in the party's youth movement and was a chairperson of the popular youth movement “Kadima”. He was dedicated to the education of the young members, lectured on party issues and produced plays for the youth movement.

He was a secretary of the “Toynbee Hall”, “Arbeitsgemeinschaft” and the Stryj correspondent of the party's newspaper “Dos Neie Vort” (The New Word). He was arrested on June 22nd, 1941 by the NKVD with other Zionist activists, and shot at the prison yard on Trybunalska street.


Ben–Zion Garfunkel

by Naphtali Siegel

Translated by Susan Rosin

 

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Abraham Levin was born in Pinsk, came to Galicia in his twenties and in 1900 he settled in Stryj. In 1905 he invented a plough which was patented in Vienna. He received many offers to sell his invention, but refused to do so. Together with Abraham Aurebach he opened a workshop where they produced the machinery. For years the ploughs they produced were sold by agents in the many villages of Galicia. Later he was a plumbing contractor. As an honest and charitable person, he was well liked and drawn to public life. He was the chairperson of the “Yad Harutzim” society, member of the Merchants Bank committee, member of the Kehila committee, member of the boarding school committee and others.

During World War one he was able to save many Austrian prisoners and help them connect with their families members abroad. He was a dedicated Zionist and was preparing to immigrate to Eretz Israel in 1914 and establish a factory with the engineer Szwartz from Tarnopol (passed away in Tel Aviv), but was not able to carry out his plans due to the start of the war.

*

All his children were brought–up in a national Zionist atmosphere. His eldest daughter Lubka married Naphtali Siegel and his son Aryeh (Lolek) lived in Israel since 1935. His daughter Chaya was fluent in Hebrew and lectured at “HaShomer”. She was planning to immigrate to Eretz Israel after high–school, but passed away during the war when she was a sophomore. Following her passing, Abraham was very depressed and many of Stryj's Jews came to pay respects to the family. His daughter Hannah (Henia) a graduate of the Lvov University was murdered with her husband Jacob Nagler and their daughter Tamara.

*

Between the two wars he was instrumental with other Zionist activists in establishing a vocational school for boys who were planning to immigrate to Eretz Israel.

He was a dedicated public figure and all his actions were for the greater good and immigration to Eretz Israel. He passed away during World War two before the Nazi occupation of Stryj.


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Levi Opper

by A. Reis

Translated by Susan Rosin

The Zionist–Socialist movement struggle in Galicia, for the Jewish worker corresponds to the years of Levi Opper's activism.

The struggle was between the Z.P.S. (Żydowska Partia Robotnicza) – the Galician Bund, the Polish P.P.S and with the “red” and “white” assimilators for the national and socialist rights of the Jewish worker.

Levi Opper was one of the most dedicated activists for national, Zionist and socialist causes.

The “Poalei Zion” movement was active in their efforts to record Yiddish as the first language in the 1910 census and also in the elections for the Austrian parliament. These activities were followed by bloodshed in Drohobycz due to the opposition to the candidacy of Dr. Lewinstein as a delegate for the Austrian parliament. Levi Opper was active even before the Frist World War, but he specifically distinguished himself as the party activist between the wars in independent Poland. He started his work in the party's youth movement “Jugent”, moved through the ranks and became eventually a member of the central committee – a dedicated, sensible and talented leader who was trained in “the tranches”.

He was dedicated to Zionism, the “Poalei Zion” movement, the Jewish worker and generally all matters of the Jewish nation. He was a good public speaker, able to influence people and explain topics, had an acute intellect, traits that made him influential in the party and with the public in Galicia. He never pursued any honor or influence and always fulfilled happily any assignment he was tasked with. He was instrumental in establishing manufacturing and cooperative stores in Galicia, actions that were needed due to the ousting of Jews from their economic positions by the Polish government.

He possessed outstanding organization skills and was an excellent public speaker. He always looked for the unifying factors and hated divisiveness. He was moderate in his approach and always strived for compromise and mutual understanding and was dedicated to the Jewish workers movement and socialist Zionism.

During the Soviet occupation he was accused for being part of the municipal council, taken to the jail on Trybunalska street and did not return…


Michael (Mechel) Opper

Translated by Susan Rosin

All children of Joesf Opper came from a family of public activists in Stryj. The oldest son was Levi, the oldest daughter was an active member of the Z.P.S. – the Galician Bund, a younger sister was a leader of “HaShomer HaTzair”, Itzhak – an activist in the “Poalei Zion” movement mainly as a youth leader and the youngest son was Michael.

In his youth, Michael was dedicated to the “Poalei Zion” movement. In 1918 as an Austrian soldier he renewed his activities, first with the youth movement and then in the organization's leadership.

In the 1920's he dedicated himself to strengthening and expending of “Poalei Zion” in Stryj, to establishing education institutions, vocational and professional unions and the strengthening of Jewish political awareness.

In 1928 he was elected to the Kehila and later became a member of the leadership. It was due to his vote that the Kehila remained under the Zionists.

Due to his talents, he was relocated by the party to Łódź, where for years he headed the tailors' union.

At the outbreak of World War Two, he returned to Stryj. When the Germans attacked the Soviets he was drafted to the anti–aircraft defense and the fire department. He perished with the rest of Jewish Stryj.


Itta Becher

Translated by Susan Rosin

Itta (Yette) Becher joined the “Poalei Zion” movement at a very young age and was an activist until the holocaust. She worked for Mondsein and after a hard day at the office, she spent her free time in public activism. For many years she was responsible for the Borochov pre–school.

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She helped anyone in need whether at their home or place of business. More than once she gave her entire pay to someone in need although her family depended on it.

In 1926 she was elected with another member of “Poalei Zion” to the leadership of the health organization after it was ruled for more than thirty years by the P.P.S.

Itta was active for many years in women's organizations and was the secretary of the council of trade unions that was comprised of unions of Polish, Jewish and Ukrainian workers.


The Rossler Brothers

Translated by Susan Rosin

The Rossler brothers were born to a very poor family. Being industrious and in spite of their difficult economic situation the brothers were able to get educated and join the popular intellectuals circles in our town.

They grew–up in the very poor Jewish neighborhood called “Die Beshike” (Baszuwka). In that environment the brothers learned first–hand about injustice and social inequality.

The parents wanted to see their sons move out of the workers' class and become merchants. However, the brothers objected and remained faithful to their social origins and were active in the workers' movement.


Yehoshua Rossler

Translated by Susan Rosin

Yehoshua Rossler started his social activism in the Jewish section of the Polish Social Democratic Party (P.P.S.D.). He was among the founders of the Independent Jewish Socialist Party (Żydowska Partia Socjalno–Demokratyczna or ŻPS) and was one of the talented activists, especially in the arena of cultural training.

After the First World War he was the leader of the ŻPS (later the “Bund”). He was unable to be a political activist due to livelihood needs. Ideologically he leaned towards the “Bund” in Poland.


Shlomo Rossler

Translated by Susan Rosin

The fate of the Jewish people during World War One and the Balfour declaration impacted Shlomo Rossler and in 1917 he left his brother's party and joined “Poalei Zion”.

Until the end of World War One he led the “Poalei Zion” branch in Stryj and in December 1917 he participated in the convention of party in Krakow. He established the theatre lovers circle. After the war he established a cooperative store and was among the founders of the soup kitchen on Botorego Street and organized the Max Rosenfeld pre–school.

After the split in “Poalei Zion” he joined the right–wing faction and was very active during the 1930's in the “Ihud” (Hitahdut – Poalei Zion).

Shlomo Rossler perished with his wife Rivka (also an activist in “Poalei Zion”) and his son.


Shlomo Rosenberg

Translated by Susan Rosin

Shlomo Rosenberg started his public work during the First World War. He was a member of the “Poalei Zion” leadership since 1917. He was a founder of the “Small Merchants Union” and devoted himself to improving the economic status of this socio–economic group that was heavily taxed by the Polish authorities.

Throughout the years he played a major role in the general Zionist group and was also active in the “Ihud” (Hitahdut – Poalei Zion) until the start of the war.

He perished with his family in the holocaust.


Leib Tepper

Translated by Susan Rosin

Abraham Tepper was one of the first to join “Poalei Zion” even before World War one and Leib Tepper was active initially in the Z.P.S and then the Bund.

Leib was one of the young intellectuals

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in Stryj, and while he was an employee in the wholesale garment sector during the years 1910 – 1917 he was one of the organizers of the young workers in this sector. He was one of the most dedicated to the Jewish trade unions and a member of the Z.P.S for many years.

In 1917, during the war he was instrumental in renewing the activity of his party. In the 1920's he was one of the leaders of the “Bund” and even later when he had his own business he was still active in the party.

Leib Tepper was murdered in one of the most cruel “aktions” in Stryj. More than a 1,000 people were herded into the Great Synagogue, starved and then killed. On one of the walls a “call for revenge” was found with the name Leib Tepper under it.


David Seltzer

Translated by Susan Rosin

David Seltzer joined the organizing committee of “Poalei Zion” in 1917 and later was one of the most active members.

In 1918 he was one of the organizers and leaders of Hebrew language classes for immigration candidates.

In 1919 Seltzer organized groups of pioneers that were trained for three years on a farm just outside of town. These pioneers immigrated to Eretz Israel in small groups during 1920 – 1921.

During the 1920's David Seltzer participated in the leadership of the education institutions of “Poalei Zion” (pre–schools, day and night schools) and he himself was an instructor at the night school.

In the 1930's David Seltzer worked in Lvov mainly in the cultural arena.


Eliyahu Katz

by Fella Avineri–Katz

Translated by Susan Rosin

 

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Rabbi Eliyahu Katz was born in Stryj in 1889 and was descendent of famous rabbis among them the author of “Pene Yehoshua” (Joshua ben Alexander HaCohen Falk Katz 1555–1614). In his youth he attended Beit Hamidrash in town and was learned in the Torah. He was one of the first young people who responded enthusiastically to Dr. Theodor Herzl's message of national revival and he became one of the most active Zionists in town.

A true intellectual, his political speeches made him one of the spokesmen in eastern Galicia and a Zionist activist in Austria.

His personality was a reflection of the historical events that occurred during his time.

He and his family made their way to Israel as “Ma'apilim” (illegal immigrants during the British mandate) on the ships “Pacific” and “Patria” and he was one of the “Patria” survivors and sent to the detention camp in Atlit.

When he arrived in Israel he became an active member of the general Zionists party and the Central Europe immigrants association and was considered an intellectual of the Bne'i Brith organization chapter of “Ya'akov Ehrlich”.

Anyone who met him was charmed by his personality, his cleverness, and his pleasant ways. His memory was famous as a trove of knowledge and wisdom. Until his last day he never lost his intellectual and physical vigor.

This special and inspired personality could have come only from the special atmosphere of Beit Hamidrash students and Zionist national youth in Stryj.

Rabbi Eliyahu Katz passed away in Tel Aviv on the 21st Sh'vat 5722 (January 26th, 1962).

 

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