The Czenstochower Patronat in New York
(Committee to Aid Political Arrestees in Poland 1931-1939)
by D. Tanksi
Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund
During the 1930's bleak information began to arrive from Poland. The fascist regime, which held the country as if in iron pliers, robbed the masses of every right and every possibility of existence. There remained no trace of freedom. Only fascism reigned free. The pogromshtshikes[those carrying out pogroms] frolicked freely; anti-Semitism was free. The ruling clique wanted to save itself from the rage of the people by throwing blame for all of the anguish, pain and suffering of the masses onto the Jews, by inciting pogroms, by crushing democracy in the country. However, the masses did not let themselves be deluded by false, fascistic slogans and struggled bitterly against the regime. The struggle brought many victims.
However, the Polish guard was not satisfied with torturing the arrestees. They would shoot worker activists in the street, without any trial or warning. Adek Landau, the well known Czenstochower activist, was murdered in this way. The police shot him in the street, quietly buried his body and did not even tell his family about this. Jail terms were dispensed with a generous hand. Here a sentence was given against a group of Czenstochower: Frenkl 15 years in jail, Knapik 15 years, Brajtman 12 years and Olszewski five years. The Polish civil press furnished the following terrible statistics: From the First of May, 1926 to the First of May, 1936, 1,534 anti-Fascists were murdered without a trial; 2,400 were wounded and 125,000 sentenced to jail. During that time the courts gave sentences overall in the amount of 50,000 years.
It was not a surprise that Jews, the most persecuted, also provided the largest number of political arrestees. The Jewish arrestees also suffered more than others: they were tortured as Jews and as political [activists]. The Jewish masses in Poland sought help for their struggle and turned more than once to organized Jewish society all over the world. They demanded that we, immigrants from Poland, stand up publicly to the Polish government, provide actions of moral support and financial help for the victims of fascism. Why are you silent? the American Jews were often asked.
B. Smoliar, the correspondent from the New York Tog [Day a Yiddish newspaper], openly warned that if American Jewry did not force the Polish Panske government to restrain the appetites of anti-Semitism, the Polish Jews would be doomed. It was a question of simple human feeling to extend a fraternal hand of anti-fascist solidarity to the masses in Poland and our national
debt to help the Polish Jews in their struggle. Support for the political victims of Polish fascism was the commandment of the hour.
Patronat was created in 1931 in order to organize the recommended help.
At first, the Patronat emerged to fight against the atmosphere of indifference that reigned in the landsmanschaftn [organizations of people from the same town]. If the interest in the old home found a reverberation among the local landsleit [people from the same town], it was expressed in philanthropic relief work. But this work, too, was carried out on a very small scale. Splits and divisions made each vigorous action more difficult. The news from Poland was not brought to the attention of the Jews in America. The wide public was not angered and seized with the events in Poland because the leaders of American Jewry did not find it necessary to arouse the Jewish masses against fascism in Poland. When persecutions against the Jews in Poland took on such proportions that a broad strata of the landsleit began to demand action, a conference was called together, wrote a resolution in chosen words and the matter ended with this. Even in the later years, when fascism threw off the mask of democracy and freely threw itself into action on the backs of the Jews of Poland, here, in America, concern for the most part was expressed with words and not with deeds. Only the Jews of Poland boldly and spiritedly expressed their protest against the Polish hangman like the free Jews in America. In 1936, Dr. Margoshes, the editor of Tog, had to warn the local landsleit that the relief work must take form and that the moral aid that was strongly neglected until now, is of tremendous value and must be given much faster
The work of Patronat was very difficult under these conditions. A great deal of effort, energy, consistency and patience was demanded in order to cultivate the landsmanschaftn to eliminate all prejudices and win the trust and support of the landsleit. They had to be interested in the bloody struggle in Poland, in the ruthlessness of Polish fascism, in the need and in the suffering of the Polish martyrs.
On the other side [of the ocean] connections had to be established with the arrestees in the Polish barracks, maintain contacts, send the assembled money, receive authentic reports from there, despite persecutions and disturbances by the Polish guard.
But the work was crowned with success. A small group of founders of Patronat was created of not widely known people, simple workers, without high social positions, without bags of money, but to whom the struggle against fascism was close. In time the Patronat became strong, won prestige, weightiness and recognition by the landsleit. Even the stubborn opponents had to change their opinions and took a positive stand to the devoted work and self sacrifice of the Patronat workers. In the end they had to understand the necessity of fighting Polish fascism. One had to agree with the historically important purpose of the Patronat.
To implement its program, the Patronat turned its entire energy to acquaint the landsleit with the terrible terror that reigned in Poland and with the struggle that was being carried out by the masses. The Patronat spread all of the news from the old home, collected money for the political arrestees and helped to create the so much needed unity among the landsleit of various directions for the struggle against the political Sanacia regime. We must underline with pride that the landsleit reacted well to the appeal by Patronat and supported it generously. All landsmanschaftn organizations, such as the Young Men's Association, the Ladies' Auxilary, the Arbeter-Ring [Workman's Circle] branch 261 and the International Worker's Order branch 11, were always represented in all undertakings of Patronat and supported its work. There were very close connections with the relief organization. It is really hard to show where the relief work began and where the work of Patronat ended. Both worked for the welfare and freedom of our brothers and sisters in the old home. As the relief was impartial and progressive, Patronat also became a center for all progressive Czenstochower who were interested in overthrowing Polish fascism. Each action on behalf of the Jews in Poland was recognized and actively supported by Patronat, no matter who took the initiative in the action. Each
arrestee was given help, as much as was possible, regardless of his or her party membership. The Patronat was an integral part of landsmanschaft life and a stronger instrument to forge the landsmanschaft unity. Whoever was present at the well-attended Patronat meetings and banquets truly felt the joy that unity can create and the sympathy that the Patronat engendered for the political arrestees.
Since 1936, both organizations Relief and Patronat have carried out joint balls each year and a portion of the income has been designated for the political arrestees. Each ball has been a manifestation against Polish fascism and an expression of love for the brothers in Poland.
The Czenstochower Patronat in New York organized a division in Los Angeles, California, that in time became an important factor in the life of the landsleit there. It organized public protest meetings against Polish fascism and also various undertakings on behalf of the political arrestees. Groups were also created in Detroit, Canada and South America. At the initiative of the Czenstochowers, a Noworadomsker Patronat was created which became a respected member of the Patronat family. In praise of the Czenstochower Patronat, the fact must be underlined that it was among one of the most important instigators of the central Patronat organization. Among other accomplishments, it succeeded in persuading the already existing two Patronats, Nowodworer and Bialystoker, to unite all their strengths to found the central organization, which would have the task of building new Patronats, and in general spreading the struggle against Polish fascism.
The rise of the central organization was of very great significance. The struggle again Polish fascism took on a broad national character. The central organization was able to popularize the Patronat among the landsleit, undertook various activities on behalf of the political arrestees in Poland, deepening the work and preparing the soil for joint appearances [with other organizations].
In a short time the central organization created 35 Patronats in which all of the important landsmanschaftn participated. Each Patronat had autonomy, but all worked together under the leadership of the central organization. Tsu Hilf [To Help], the journal published by the central organization, on average had a circulation of 5,000 copies. The Czenstochower Patronat sent its best workers to the central organization and, in general, was responsible for a large amount of the work.
1936 was a year of great, intensive activity. That year a new wave of anti-Semitism flooded Poland. Pogroms against Jews were a daily phenomenon. The reaktsie [right wing reaction] raged unbearably and the number of arrestees rose immensely. Official Poland threw away the pretense of democracy and rolled into the arms of Hitler, both in its external and its internal politics. The Polish regime shamelessly ascended completely on the road of open and brutal fascism.
In the summer of 1936 the Czenstochower Patronat took an active part in the creation of the People's Committee to Combat the Pogroms on the Jews in Poland that undertook a number of actions. Thousands of signatures with protests against the wave of pogroms were sent to the Polish ambassador in Washington.
The Patronat also participated in the large and impressive street demonstration organized by the People's Committee against Anti-Semitism and was represented in the delegation that was sent to the Polish Consul in New York.
The impressive historic march on Washington, organized by the same People's Committee against Anti-Semitism must also be mentioned. Thousands of delegates who represented around a quarter million Jews, 30,000 Ukrainians and hundreds of landsmanschaft organizations took part. Our Patronat was also represented with a delegate. Senators, members of Congress, writers and communal workers, Jewish and non-Jewish, endorsed the march. Senator Thomas led the delegation to the President who was presented with a detailed memorandum. This was the first time that official Washington heard the cry of pain of Polish Jewry.
On the 11th of July, 1937, our Relief, with strong assistance from Patronat called a meeting against the pogroms in our home city. This was a great demonstration of our landsleit. All landmanschaft organizations were represented. The speakers
denounced the Panske government in the strongest manner and demanded immediate abolition of every discrimination and persecution against the Jews. Each action, each event in Poland, in general, and in Czenstochow, in particular, found an echo in the activities of Patronat.
The Czenstochower Patronat declared in its last report to the central organization:
we had great difficulties reaching the landsleit who belong to various organizations. Many misunderstandings and denunciations reigned among the organizations. But thanks to our untiring work and efforts, we succeeded in convincing the landsleit that it is necessary to unite all forces for the struggle against Polish fascism, which is the father of the pogroms against Jews. Today we have united Relief, which raises aid for those suffering from need in Czenstochow and also for the political arrestees Understand, since the war, Patronat no longer exists. Only Relief remains. As earlier, all former Patronat workers are active in it. They remain devoted to their sisters and brothers in Czenstochow who need more help now than when [Patronat existed].
The Patronat wrote an impressive page in the struggle against Polish fascism. Many of the former Polish arrestees, whom Patronat supported, fell as heroes on the barricades of the ghettos; many were partisans,and those, who survived are helping to build a new Poland that will no longer need any Patronats for political arrestees.
The following landsleit and friends were member of the Czenstochower Patronat:
Altman, Rose and MaxThe following landsleit and friends were founders and supporters of the Czenstochower Aid Union and the Czenstochower Relief Committee. The two organizations were supported through their help and devotion:
Berger, Izzy and Eva
Berger, Rubin and Bela
Buchner, Morris and Sophie
Beira, Shimeon and Fela
Gliksman, Khone and Fradl
Gerichter, Karl and Regina
Gotlib, Pinkhas and Mali
Goldberg, Lou and Annie
Gotlib, Dovid, may he rest in peace
Handelsman, Lou and Rose
Wilinger, Sam and Gussy
Wilinger, Willie and Blanch
Wargan, Karl and Helen
Tenski, Dovid and Ellen
Monowicz, Shlomo, may he rest in peace
Frajman, Hershl and Leah
Kuczminski, Max and Ester
Rozenblat, John and Bela
Rubinsztajn, Joe and Minnie
Ruk, Shlomo, may he rest in peace
Szlingbaum, Shlomo and Miriam
Szwarcbaum, Avraham and Leah
Gerszonowicz, Dovid Leib*
Silver, Yehoshaya Eliezer
Silver, Yakov Ber
Fajertog, Yehuda Hirsh
Swarc, Chaim Leib
Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund
The Czenstochower Independent Union in Chicago was founded on Sunday, the 23rd of October 1938.
The founding meeting of our new union was held in the house of the well-known landsleit [people from the same town], Sister and Brother Cwirn, 3336 Potomac Avenue.
The new union arose at a time when the flow of immigration from the other side of the ocean almost ceased and no new landsleit emigrants arrived. Many landsleit previously had been united in a Czenstochower organization that we ourselves had earlier helped founded and built.
Landsleit friends, Lesser, Hercki, Warszawski, Ahron Eizensztajn, Moshe Ceszinski and the Cwirn family came to our first deliberations. At the meeting, it was decided to found a new Czenstochower Independent Union in Chicago to give us the possibility of carrying out various communal and cultural work in our own way.
The name, Independent, was needed to express the independence of our organization.
A certain sum was collected right at the first meeting for carrying on the work. Everyone was unanimous about this, that the new organization needed to excel with good cultural work and with a comradely and friendly environment.
Moshe Ceszinski then was elected as secretary and treasurer.
The second meeting of the newly organized Union was held on the 30th of October 1938 in the house of the well-known landsleit, Leib Lesser and Mrs. Lesser, 1924 South Harding Avenue. Several members joined at the meeting. It also was decided to send out a call to acquaintances and landsleit to join our Union and to give notices to the Chicago Jewish newspapers. Friend Moshe Oderberg, the well-known landsman and Paoeli-Zion [Workers of Zion, a Marxist Zionist organization] worker came to the third meeting and joined as a member of the Union.
Little by little we began to win more members and we became even more accepted in Chicago.
The first literary-musical undertaking by the Czenstochower Independent Union was arranged on Sunday, the 11th of December 1929. The beloved cantor, Avraham Kuper and Miss Prawalski, a member of the union and the well-known pianist, took part in the program. Cantor Kuper sang a series of interesting folksongs with the piano accompaniment of Miss Prawalski. This first event in public made a good impression and was a big hit with the gathered guests and members.
The beloved Cwirn family also took part in the evening. The entire family together illuminated the holiday with their faithful singing of old Jewish folksongs, duets and couplets, mixed with joy and sorrow.
Many new members enrolled at the literary evening, among them, Mrs. Rose and Dave Hofman, Mrs. Khaya Zewin, the Gotajners, Mrs. Danciger, Yisroelke and Eva Warszawski, Dave Richtiger, Haimy Szternberg, Dr. Peter Awieczki, and later, Berta Warszawski and a group of others also became members. The Lesser family, the Cwirn family, Rose and Dave Hoffman, Chaya Zewin-Oderberg excelled as tireless workers for the Union, as well as later the newly arrived beloved members, Mrs. Fanny and Adolf Wilinger. They are all still at work today for the Union.
In 1940 the Czenstochower Independent Union already had a good organizational apparatus, with responsible officials: M. Oderberg as president, Mrs. Rose Hofman vice president, M. Ceszinski recording secretary, S. Cwirn finance secretary and Friend Leib Lesser as treasurer, as well as executive members.
On the 24th of March 1940 we carried out our first Purim ball in the Homboldt Boulevard Temple. At this opportunity we published our first souvenir book, which differed from our publications of this sort in that in addition to an English section, there were several pages in Yiddish.
The money that our Union began to
receive would immediately be divided for various communal purposes. Thus we supported the Chicago Polish Union and the trade union campaign for workers in Eretz-Yisroel with significant sums. Our members were executives in both organizations. Support also was distributed for folks-shuln [people's schools], needy members and non-members, as well as for matzos for the poor, orphan institutions and cultural institutions.
The Czenstochower Independent Union stood and remains in contact with landsleit in various nations. In contrast with other landsmanschaftn [organizations of people from the same town], our meetings were held often, with free entry for members from other organizations.
In 1941 our union took out a charter. Signing the charter were the Friends: Leib Lesser, Sam Cwirn, Moshe Ceszinski, Mrs. Rose Hofman, Moshe Oderberg, Ahron Eizensztajn and Mrs. Aida Zevin. We organized a banquet in honor of the charter to which a large number of members, friends and guests came. The toastmaster at the banquet was Friend Dr. Peter Owieczki, known by all of us.
The terrible catastrophe in Europe caused our union members to respond with even more warmth to the aid appeals from various kinds of Chicago aid organizations.
In 1943 our union bought its own cemetery. Friend Dave Shelwin, now administrator of the cemetery, and Friend Leib Lesser, the then secretary of the cemetery division, carried out the purchase.
It is worthwhile to mention that our Union bought Liberty Bonds for several hundred dollars and supported the Red Cross with $160 as our taxes for winning the war.
HIAS [Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society] 150 dollars; American Federation of Polish Jews 250 dollars; Jewish Charities 75 dollars; for the underground movement in Europe 50 dollars; for the building committee to create a home for the Jewish blind 40 dollars; the trade union campaign for the workers in Eretz-Yisroel 100 dollars. We also supported other institutions with smaller sums.
Friend Rafal Federman, the emissary from New York for the book, Czenstochower Yidn, was welcomed by us with joy and received our help in his important work. The Union gave $50 as a donation for the book. A meeting with Friend Rafal Federman took place at the home of landsleit, Mr. and Mrs. Lesser
Sitting from right to left: Moshe Oderberg (president), Chaya Zewin (hospitality), Moshe Ceszinski (secretary)
Standing from right to left: Gutsha Zwirin, Sam Zwirin (treasurer), Adolf Wilinger and Fanny Wilinger
of the active members of our Union. At a table set in a holiday mood, Friend Rafal Federman described the purpose and tasks of the book and also gave greetings from landsleit from New York and elsewhere. Over 200 dollars was collected by our small organization for the book. Before Friend Federman departed, a banquet took place in honor of our guest. Chairman Friend Moshe Oderberg was present at the evening. Among others, Moshe Ceszinski, the secretary of the Union, said goodbye to our guest.
In 1944 many new members again joined, mainly thanks to the efforts of Friend Shelwin.
The fifth banquet of the Czenstochower Independent Union took place on the 27th of February 1944. At that opportunity, the Union published a printed souvenir book of 60 pages. Our Union numbers 65 male members today, as well as their wives.
Among the founders of the Czenstochower Independent Union in Chicago it is worthwhile to note the following people: Bessie and Louis Lesser, Dave and Rose Hofman (current vice president).
This time at the election for officers of the Czenstochower Independent Union that took place in the organization at the end of 1945, almost a majority of those elected were from Czenstochow: Moshe Oderberg, again as president; treasurer Sam Cwern; vice president Rose Hofman; recording secretary Moshe Ceszinski; hospitality Chaya Zewin; to the executive Adolf and Fanny Wilinger; finance secretary Ben Arkin; director of the cemetery Dave Shelwin.
The newly elected officers began to take on and carry out both communal and cultural work with special closeness and kinship and with special interest in listening to everyone who had a connection to our old home-city Czenstochow.
The Union was represented at the first United Czenstochower Relief Conference that took place in New York on the 23rd of July 1945 by the especially sent delegate Moshe Ceszinski.
A Banquet of the Czenstochower Independent Union in Chicago
In 1946 the Union supported various Chicago communal institutions as well as [those] in Czenstochow and Eretz-Yisroel with the following sums:
One hundred dollars for those working in Eretz-Yisroel; 100 dollars to the Czenstochower New York United Relief; 25 dollars for HIAS [Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society]; 25 dollars for Jewish Workers Committee; 25 dollars for a place for the sick poor to rest; 10 dollars for a greeting to the 20th anniversary of the Chicago Sholem Aleichem Institute; 10 dollars for the Society for Incurable Sick Jews; 10 dollars to the Rescue Fund for Jewish Refugees.
The Union contributed a designated sum for the Czenstochower sisters' Ladies Aid Society, bought tickets for several dollars to the fish dinner, donated several dollars for a greeting in a souvenir journal of the Czenstochower Regional Education Union and many other contributions for other organizations and committees that came to the meetings of the Union to ask for help.
by J. Gliksman
Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund
Nine energetic women decided to have a Czenstochower Women's Aid Society in Chicago. They held their first meeting on the 29th of January 1937 in the home of Friend Bessie Winer, 1401 Tripp Avenue.
The pioneers of the organization were: Bessie Winer, Rena Gotajner, Roza Glikerman, Shirley Paul, Tilly Biter, Dora Warszawski, Helen Szlezinger, Kate Ansel and Edith Warszawski. They immediately undertook a campaign to recruit members among the Czenstochower women and temporarily held their meetings in the homes of the initiators. Membership quickly increased and they had to rent public rooms for the meetings.
The first officials of the organization were:
First chairwoman: Bessie WinerThe young organization had to overcome many difficulties. First of all, the Czenstochower Union that had been organized for a long time did not want another Czenstochow organization out of fear of competition. However, it was shown that the women' club would have many uses and would help the Union. Disruptions of a personal character were worse. In time, the organization under the energetic leadership of its founders strengthened and became popular among the Czenstochower women. It took out a charter and in 1939 adopted a constitution for the new organization that gave it the official name: Czenstochower Women's Aid Society. The Society has its regular meeting place and came together the first and third Mondays of the month.
Vice chairwoman: Roza Lewkowicz
Treasurer: Kate Ansel
Recording and corresponding secretary: Rena Gotajner
Members of the Executive: Tilly Biter and Roza Glikerman.
We support the following organizations: day and night children's nurseries, American Red Cross, Los Angeles Sanatorium, Chicago Center for Soldiers, Jewish Philanthropic Fund in Chicago, organization to help tuberculosis patients, war aid for the Soviet Union (Russian War Relief), General Jewish Fund for the Needy, Jewish Folksheym [people's home] for the Sick, Trade Unions Campaign and still more smaller organizations that come to us for help.
It is worthwhile mentioning that although our membership consists of only 40 women, our assessments for various philanthropic institutions reached a sum of $5,227.
The main purpose for which we organized is, after all the same, that is to help those suffering from need in our home city. We designated a special fund that we invested in bonds for this purpose.
We have many members who are not from Czenstochow, who help us in our work. Our president, Bessie Winer, who is not from Czenstochow, has held the office for seven years and is very energetic in the work of spreading and strengthening our organization. Friends Tilly Biter, Roza Glikerman, Gertrude Fox and Shirley Paul have been in their offices without interruption.
We want to continue our work to help those suffering from need. Now, after the war, we also can benefit from the sociability that our organization can offer.
Czenstochower Women's Aid Society in Chicago
Sitting from right to left: Gertrude Fox (corr. and fin. sec.), Helen Szlezinger (treasurer), Rose Hofman (vice president), Betty Winer-Pradel (president), Shirley Paul (record. sec.), Sura Helberg (1st trustee)
Second row, from right to left: R. Glikerman, H. Zewin, D. Warszawski, R. Federman, C. Warszawski, T. Biter, B. Warszawski, A. Szwarc
Third row, from right to left: R. Lefkowicz, A. Poper, M. Trembot, A. Gibrik, L. Lesser
by J. Gliksman
Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund
The founding committee came together in the house of Friend Y. Gliksman on the 25th of December 1925. Taking part in the deliberations were Y. Gliksman, F. Fajertag, N. Richter, M. Starszum, H. Yoskowitz, Max Grosberg and A. Grosberg.
A mass meeting took place on the 1st of January 1926 at the home of Friend H. Yoskowitz and 30 members joined.
The following officers were elected:
M. Fradelski, chairman, M. Grosberg, vice chairman, P. Gliksman secretary; M. Starozum recording secretary, H. Shumer (Szmulewicz) treasurer; executive: M. Fradel (Fradelski), T. Halberg, Y. Gliksman, A. Birnholc, H. Yoskowicz, H. Shumer, M. Starozum, A. Grosberg, A. Jacobs, A. Fefer.
During the existence of the Union, it supported the nursery and the Professional Unions in Czenstochow, as well as TOZ [Society for the Protection of Health], with considerable sums of money and we also helped a number of national and local organizations here in this country [the United States].
The Union was dissolved on the 14th of October 1928.
Czenstochower Regional Union
The Czenstochower Regional Union in Detroit was organized on the 23rd of February 1935. The organizing committee held its first meeting in the house of Friend Sam Halberg, with the participation of: Y. Gliksman, N. Richter, S. Halberg, R. Luks, B. Kalin, T. Halberg, A. Winter, Haimy Yoskowicz (deceased), A. Birnholc, H. Halberg.
The mass meeting was held in the assembly hall.
The following officials were elected:
Chairman S. Halberg, vice-chairman Haimy Yoskowicz, finance-secretary Y. Gliksman, recording-secretary A. Winter, treasurer B. Kalin.During the 10 years of its existence, we supported the following organizations with a sum or $14,263:
Executive T. Halberg, R. Luks, A. Birnholc, A. Leser.
Czenstochower children's homes, cultural office of the professional unions, and divisions of TOZ in Czenstochow, the Federation of Polish Jews, Allied Joint Campaign, H.I.A.S., IKOR [Organization for Jewish Colonization in Russia], trade union campaign, National Fund, Khesed Shel Emes [Good Deed of Faith organization for arranging burials in the Orthodox tradition], the Red Cross, War Chest, Los Angeles Sanatorium (Detroit division], Denver Sanatorium, USO, Russian War Relief, Chinese War Relief and dozens of other organizations.
During the course of six war loans, the members of Czenstochower Union bought 65,000 dollars worth of bonds through the organization.
Our members have 38 children in the
The executive of the Czenstochower Regional Union in Detroit
First row, sitting from right to left: Mrs. A. Birnholc, Mrs. A Zbarow, Mrs. M. Richter, Mrs. M. Fein, Mrs. J. Holcberg
Second row, sitting from right to left: S. Zbarow, B. Wratslowski, M. Fein, R. Federman, J. Halberg, T. Halberg, N. Richter
Standing, from right to left: J. Wiatrok, S. Richtman, A. Birnholc, Ch. Halberg, A. Goldsztajn
American Army. During the three years of war, we were in constant contact with the children in the army and each was sent a package every three months
We worked with all members of the Federation of Polish Jews and sent a large number of packages to Lublin.
Even in the past, the Czenstochower Regional Union in Detroit took an interest in our old home city, Czenstochow. We had collected a large fund for this purpose. The income from the banquet in honor of its 10th anniversary that took place on the 25th of February 1945 was designated for this fund.
The Czenstochower Regional Union in Detroit celebrated the second annual anniversary with a beautiful concert and banquet on Sunday, the 22nd of January 1938, in Carpenter's Hall.
For the short time of its existence, the Czenstochower Union managed to develop energetic activity in various areas, which was expressed in the tasks the Union set for itself at its founding.
The Union also stood on watch and did everything possible to help its own members who at times were in need of fraternal help.
The fact also should be recorded that the Union did not remain indifferent to the local city communal life and took an appropriate part in the large people's movement to build a house in the Los Angeles sanatorium in the name of Detroit Jewry and also joined in several national and state administrative bodies with annual contributions. In general, the Union answered very fraternally every appeal of our friendly organizations.
Simultaneously, the Union took care of its cultural tasks, so that in the course of two very successful years, concerts, literary family evenings and other similar cultural ventures were carried out.
All of the important tasks that the Union seriously and sincerely endeavored to serve made the Union a communal factor in Jewish life in Detroit and also drew the attention of many non-landsleit [people from the same town] who volunteered their help to the Union in order that the work be more successful. The result of this was that several important people joined as members.
Understand that all of this was in great measure thanks to the deep devotion and self-sacrifice of a very large number of active members, who brought life and activity into the work and into the tasks of the Union.
The charter was given to the organization as a gift from Eleizer Gliksman.
The following officials left their offices in 1944. Chairman Fine, vice chairman A. Halberg, finance secretary B. Wiatrak, recording secretary a. Birnholtz, treasurer B. Wraclowski, hospitality (men) J. Wiatrak, hospitality (women) R. Halberg, executive N. Richter, Sister G. Richter, Sister Helen Sbarow, T. Halberg.
Newly elected officials for the year 1945:
Chairman Isidor Gliksman, vice chairman S. Rechtman, finance secretary B. Wiatrak, recording secretary J. Czudnow, treasurer B. Wraclowski, hospitality (men) J. Wiatrak, hospitality (women) Jenny Wiatrak.The Czenstochower Regional Union opened its activities with a banquet on the 14th of October at the Jewish Culture Center, 2705 Joy Road.
Executive A. Birnholc, T. Halberg, Lizzy Halberg, S. Halberg, A. Winter, Helen Sbarow, N. Richter and Sister G. Bajtner.
The banquet was dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the long time [greeter] and esteemed worker, Joe Wiatrak. The campaign for the Victory Loan also was opened that evening.
Thanks to the capable leadership of the Czenstochower Union in Detroit, there were significant results in all relief and communal undertakings of the Union during the course of the last years.
The Czenstochower Union excelled in the sale of War Bonds and received a citation from the War Department in Washington that was reported on the radio.
The Detroit Union delivered the sum of one thousand dollars to Czenstochower Relief in New York for aid purposes.
The Union took an active part in the campaign of the Jewish Committee for Russian Relief, collecting a significant sum of money. The leaders of the Czenstochower Union in Detroit
produced a series of plans for communal actions.
The Czenstochower branch 620 Arbeter Ring [Workman's Circle] was installed on the 23rd of December 1928.
The following officials were nominated:
R. Luks finance secretary.The branch led cultural work and supported many local and national bodies.
Y. Gliksman recording secretary.
W. Yoskowicz treasurer (died).
B. Kalin hospitality.
Executive: Panksi, Kenigsberg, F. Fajertag, Willis, Abe Wenger, N. Richter, Y. Gliksman and R. Luks.
The branch was dissolved on the 30th of July 1932.
The founding meeting of the Czenstochower Patronat [organization that supported Jewish political victims in 1930's Poland] in Detroit took place in the home of Friend Y. Gliksman on the 18th of November 1937. In attendance were: Y. Gliksman, B. Wraclowski, S. Rechtman, Fajerman, Ritsh, B. Kalin, N. Richter. Chosen were: provisional chairman B. Wraclowski; Y. Gliksman finance secretary.
During the six months that the Patronat existed, we succeeded in carrying out several undertakings, supported the Patronats with a sum of more than $150 as well as distributed the Patronat publications in great numbers.
Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund
The Czenstochower Union in Los Angeles was organized with the help of the president of the Joint Czenstochower Relief in New York, Friend Avraham Senzer, who spent several months here and with the participation of Friend Rafal Federman during his trip through the larger cities of the United States.
Yeta Grey (Grilak), H. Epsztajn, Harry Grauman joined the temporary committee that was founded in December 1944.
The committee immediately began its activities and their work was crowned with great success.
Shabbos [Sabbath], the 22nd of December 1944, the first meeting took place in the Park Manor Hall. The appeal to all Czenstochower landsleit [people from the same town] had an appropriate success. Everyone gathered with warm fraternal readiness to help carry out the task that we stated as our purpose.
Friend Rafal Federman spoke before a meeting about the Jewish situation in Poland before and after the war. He particularly emphasized the situation of the Jews in Czenstochow that moved the gathering to tears.
After a short discussion, a temporary committee was chosen of Friends: Epsztajn, Grauman and Federman with the task of preparing a large meeting of all Czenstochower in Los Angeles and its vicinity.
The founding meeting of the Czenstochower Aid Committee took place at Clifton's Restaurant in Los Angeles on Shabbos, the 9th of December 1944.
The chairman of the meeting, Friend H. Epsztajn presented to the gathered landsleit the guest, Friend Rafal Federman, who described the destruction of Jewish life in Poland and explained the difficult task that stood in front of the Jews, in general, and our landsleit in particular, concerning their Czenstochower brothers whose hour of liberation and the throwing off of the Nazi yoke was approaching.
Gina Medem, the well-known journalist and lecturer, also greeted those assembled.
The following managing committee was elected at the founding meeting:
Chairman: Max PepperElected to the executive were:
Secretary: Harry Grauman
Finance Secretary: Izzy Berger.
Max Pepper, Izzy Berger, Harry Grauman, Philip Grosberg, Ahron Grosberg, Mendl Grosberg, Yosl Berliner, Dovid Miller (Malarski), Sheyndl Szuchter.How much energy and how intensively the Czenstochower Relief in Los Angeles worked is seen by the undertakings and sums of the receipts for six months of activity.
At her own initiative Mrs. Rose Klein also arranged a gathering that brought in the sum of 60 dollars.
Mrs. Marvin Gelber organized a lunch at which 195 dollars was collected.
The Czenstochower Relief in Los Angeles used every additional opportunity to strengthen the activity of Czenstochowers in Los Angeles. The liberation of Czenstochow by the victorious Russian armies provided such an opportunity. Seven thousand Jews in Czenstochow were saved from certain death thanks to the rapid march of the Red Army.
An event was organized in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Philip and Ester Grosberg on the 18th of February 1945 at which 187 dollars was collected. The president of Czenstochower Relief in Los Angeles, who began the collections, had entirely separate earnings. Mrs. Rose Klein had the opportunity to give the 60 dollars that she collected in her home at a lunch. The actress, Dekla Kapulasz, lent beauty to the evening with appropriate folksy readings and recitations.
On the 29th of April 1945, a meeting of all Czenstochower landsleit was organized in the house of the Berger family. A plan of constructive aid for the Czenstochow Jews surviving the Nazi-hell was worked out at this meeting. At this occasion 120 dollars was collected.
At this opportunity, Max Pepper, the president, introduced his son, Sheldon, who had returned from Italy where he fought as an American soldier against Nazi Germany.
The assembled greeted him heartily and
The Czenstochower Aid Union in Los Angeles, California
Sitting, from right to left: Dovid Malarski [Miller], Yitzhak Berger, Yitzhak Hersh Grauman, Meir Pieprz [Pepper], Yosf Berliner
Standing from right to left: Hershl Epsztajn, Adolf Landau, Chaya Berger, Yeshaya Yakov Menkof, Gitl Menkof, Philip Grosberg, Ester Grosberg, Toba Pieprz (Pepper), Ahron Grosberg
in order to honor the young hero, 183 dollars was collected for Czenstochow at the initiative of Mr. Grauman. The first to respond was Friend Yosl Berliner.
The last gathering brought the opportunity to send 500 dollars with the money from the previous collection for food packages through Czenstochower Relief in New York.
Not quite a month passed and there again was an opportunity to help our Czenstochower landsleit.
Friend Yosl Berliner celebrated the Bar-Mitzvah of his son Saran in a very inspired manner. Czenstochower and Radomsker landsleit met there and they sang old folksongs that reminded them of their old home. Friend Epsztajn, himself a Radomsker, called everyone to further aid work. Friends Davidson and Grauman greeted the group. Two hundred dollars was collected, which was divided among the Czenstochow and Radomsk landsleit.
[The idea of] immediate help penetrated the deep consciousness and the minds of all Czenstochower landsleit.
On Sunday, the 15th of August, the families shtibl [one room synagogue] in Van Nuys near Los Angeles arranged a picnic. On this occasion, 320 dollars was collected that was divided among the Czenstochower and Radomsker Jews.
On the 2nd of September 1945, Friend Berliner organized a victory party in his house in honor of the ending of the Second World War.
One hundred thirty-four dollars was collected and distributed equally among Radomsker and Czentochower Relief.
Relief also bought War Bonds for 50 dollars and had income from them of 100 dollars.
Sunday, the 18th of November, the Czenstochower Aid Union called a mass meeting in the Park Ville Manor at which Max Pepper, the chairman, pointed out the great task that now stood before American Jewry to help rebuild Jewish life in Poland.
Friend Grauman gave a report of the activity to that time and read a letter from the Czenstochower AJA committee that arrived in Los Angeles.
Three hundred dollars was collected to which Friends Berliner and Berkowicz added 100 dollars.
However, this is not everything the Czenstochower Relief in Los Angeles did. The plans for the near future show that Czenstochower Relief in Los Angeles has assumed the task of energetically helping our landsleit.
Relief reorganized with the following people:
President: Max PepperReport from the Treasury:
Secretary: Harry Grauman
Financial Secretary: Dovid Borzykowski
Treasurer: Yosl Berliner
Since the 17th of December $1,858.65 was collected; $1,240.11 was paid out; $618.54 remains in the treasury.
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