by D. Tanksi
Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund
The official birthday of our order and branch is 1930, but unofficially the seeds for the new order were planted years earlier.
We will not go into the facts about the reasons that brought the rise of the new order. However, it is worthwhile to establish a few facts.
The outbreak of the October revolution brought strong differences and splintered Jewish society. The two workers orders the Arbeter Ring [Workman's Circle] and the National Workers Union were drawn into this conflict.
The struggle between left and right took on a sharper form. The Czenstochow branch 111 was dissolved by the National Workers Union. Over 70 percent of the members were excluded from Workers branch 261.
It was clear that the further coexistence of the various movements and groups was impossible and, in any case, they could not live harmoniously together. This created a necessity to found a new order for those excluded and those who could not find a homey atmosphere in the existing orders.
When a test of fire was presented to those from Czenstochow they acted like Czenstochowers: they took up the challenge and created their own organization. Those excluded from the Arbeter Ring branch 261 and the
dissolved branch 111 of the National Workers Union created the Workers Order in March 1930.
Among the dozens of pioneers and charter members who joined the new organization, at least some of the most active should be mentioned here: Yakov Ber Silver, Abe Kaufman, Pinkhas Gotlib, Dovid Gotlib, Morris Szwarc, Yasker, Max Rozenblat, Benny Rozenblat, Benyamin Rozenblat, Mordekhai Altman, Willy Wilinger, Sam Wilinger, Ruwin Berger, Izzy Berger, Khona Gliksman, Max Wajnrit and his brother, Szlingbaum, Karl Gerichter, D. Tanski, Max Kuczminski, Hershl Grosberg, Avraham Grosberg, Frajlich, Frajman and others.
The Internal Life and the Character of the Branch 11
Born at a time of the most difficult crisis in the history of the country, when unemployment spread across the country lightning fast and the masses lived in poverty; our branch encountered a great deal of difficulty and disruptions. But thanks to the untiring work of our union and certainly more because of the necessity of having a progressive order, our branch quickly grew and expanded. The branch and the order increased the total number of members and began to play an important role in the communal life of our city.
Our branch avoided the mistakes of becoming a partisan organization. Therefore, we established a wide base. Not considering the larger or smaller number of branch members, the branch was always the place of great, effervescent communal activities, a concentration point of progressive workers, united around the struggle in our country and united in the concern for its allies. Immediately at the start, the branch opened its door wide for everyone who wanted to belong. Each member, no matter their [political] beliefs, had their place and their value in our branch. Every fight by the masses was supported with a generous hand; every action for the Jewish people was supported and shared with other organizations.
The internal life of the branch was established so that every old or new member would feel comfortable and would find a friendly atmosphere
Czenstochower Branch 11 of the Jewish People's Order
and a fraternal atmosphere. The absolute tolerance of the various factions, the interest and the welfare of the members, the right of everyone to decide the character and course of our activities the collective leadership these and other not less important traits led the members to be active and to care about the growth and existence of the branch. Here they became familiar with all communal questions; here they found an echo of all struggles carried out by the masses; here they lived culturally and communally; here they joined the Jewish people; here they found mutual aid and all benefits that a fraternal organization must provide.
The Aid Fund that was led then by the Seidur Society and the Rozenblat Society, took care of aid for the sick and needy members. With their tactful approach, with their understanding and devotion to their work, the members of the Seidur and Rozenblat Societies established the fund on a basis of self-help, as an expression of friendship and concern of the branch for its members. The branch did not lose any member because of unpaid bills through all of the years of its existence.
Our branch also deserves praise that it led the wives of our members out of the kitchen and interested them in communal activities and in the problems of the branch.
A women's club with its own autonomy and its own area of work was created with the participation of the female comrades Frajlich, Minnie Rubinsztajn, Frida Najberg, Annie Goldberg, Ester Kaczminski, Wladimir, Haursh and Tanski. Through the club many women came in contact with problems that were once foreign to them. They were drawn into all of the battles carried out by the branch, helped the branch in its activities and developed very important work among the women of their neighborhoods. They evolved socially and culturally in the club, became activists and leaders and worked with their comrades in every area. Today, many of them still play a leading role in the branch. Thus the comrade Frajlich is a permanent member of the executive, a tested campaigner for Jewish rights, a builder of the Jewish school, a communal worker and leader in several organizations.
The covered tables [tables covered with food] at the branch became widely known. At the laMelekh [belonging to the King] that the branch organized very often, the members had a good and enjoyable time and benefited from the cultural undertakings. The summer excursion also would draw a crowd because the branch, under the capable leadership of Comrade Silver, always found means to entertain its members in a cultural-communal manner.
Today we have 250 members, not all from Czenstochow. So, for example, Kh. Brodski, from Odessa, who is one of the most active members of our branch and for many years has been more concerned with our assistance program than many from Czenstochow.
Branch 11 is now one of the best branches in the Bronx district in New York.
The Cultural Work
We excelled especially in the area of cultural work. We carried on a widespread and serious campaign for the necessity of cultural work, to acquaint ourselves with our culture and to spread it in depth throughout our membership. We encouraged self-education on a great scale. Many of those students then continued their studies in advanced schools. Dozens of them are active today on the cultural front. We have trained a number of speakers, workers, intelligent workers, who today occupy prominent places in our order.
Every meeting was transformed into a cultural undertaking. An introduction, a lecture, a discussion, literary evening, musical concert, recitations, cultural holidays dedicated to our classics and to the new literature, the celebration of historical events all of these were opportunities to acquaint our members with the cultural achievements of our people. We distributed various Jewish journals, pamphlets, books, newspapers and other publications. The question of selling literature was taken up at every meeting and widely discussed. Our literary agent, Comrade Silverman, did his work with dedication and self-sacrifice.
It is understandable that the branch heartily supported the Jewish Cultural Union, I.K.O.R. and its journal Yidishe Kultur [Yiddish Culture].
Therefore, our interest in cultural work influenced our branch to give the greatest attention to the school.
From the first day we had supervision over a school that we supported morally and materially. Hundreds of children were recruited for the school by the branch. The majority of them then continued their education in the Order's higher schools. We created a special group of school workers who specialized in their areas, prepared with enough knowledge and understanding of the Yiddish proletarian school. Such old school workers from the branch such as the comrades Kaczminski, Nayberg, Silwer, Sadie Berger, Louis Goldberg, [female] Comrade Freylich, [female] Comrade Nayberg and others may really be proud of their work.
We distributed thousands of pamphlets about the Yiddish school, attracted a wide strata from the area in the struggle for its existence and development. Through the school we gained influence on the parents, who not long ago had had a negative, or in the best case, a passive attitude toward Yiddish and to Yiddish literature.
Today the parents are drawn into the fight against national nihilism and against assimilation. Today our school is School 5. It serves over 50 children. Comrades Lou Goldberg, Sadie Berger, Frajlich and Nayberg represent the branch there and work tirelessly for the school. The branch is proud of School 5 and with the very large contribution of our comrades to the school.
The earnest relationship to the Yiddish school and to Jewish culture and the concern for the young generation placed the branch at the head of the front ranks of Jewish cultural institutions in our city.
Communal and Political Activities
Our branch carried out a broad campaign for unemployment insurance. We distributed thousands and thousands of leaflets, collected thousands of signatures, sent speakers to the neighboring organizations and called large mass meetings under our banner at which our members spoke.
We took part in the march to Washington and were represented there by Comrade Abe Kaufman.
This action is only an example of the hundreds of actions that the branch carried out and of the manner in which it took part in the actions with its members and money. The popularity of the branch grew thanks to these activities. Our branch was automatically included among the endorsers when an area committee to fight the anti-Semitic [New York] Daily News was organized in 1945.
Our branch always took part as an organization in all of the local and national elections. Special meetings were dedicated to the analysis of the candidates' programs. We carried on a widespread campaign to take part in the election, supported the progressive candidates and unmasked the reactionary ones. Street meetings organized by the branch often were mobilization points for the great masses in the area.
The branch delegated its best workers, such as the comrades Silver, Szlingbaum, Abe Kaufman, D. Tanski, Rubin Berger, Izzy Berger, Kaczminski, Lou Goldberg, the female comrades Frajlich, Wladimer, Annie Goldberg, Ellen Tanski. Khona and Fradl Gliksman, Handlesman and his wife, Joseph Rozenblat, Willy Wilinger, Sam Wilinger and others.
As an anti-fascist organization, our branch supported the Anti-Nazi Council right from the first day of its existence. It took part in its activities both as an organization and with its members. The branch called a boycott of Nazi goods, picketed the businesses where they were sold and distributed large numbers of copies of anti-Nazi literature. The branch was a member of the Anti-Nazi Council through its delegate Comrade Louis Goldberg.
Branch 11 also warmly supported the activities of I.K.O.R. the Society for Jewish Colonization in the Soviet Union. We energetically took part in the campaign to popularize the resolution of the Jewish and national question in the Soviet Union, where anti-Semitism was declared a crime against the law.
We supported materially and morally the Jewish territory in Birobidzhan
where the Jews of the Soviet Union will be put on a normal footing as a people with their culture, language and political and economic independence.
Our comrade, Abe Kaufman, was a member of the central committee of I.K.O.R.
We held it as our great duty to defend the Jewish settlement in Palestine against the imperialist machinations of the English government, for its peaceful development, for a free Palestine [Israel], built on Jewish worker cooperation, for a Jewish national home. We held dozens of meetings dedicated to the struggle against the White Paper, sent protest telegrams to members of Congress and called upon our members to take part in every action to abolish this criminal discrimination against Jews.
Branch 11 grew as a consistent organization struggling against reaction and anti-Semitism, for Jewish rights in every nation.
When the war broke out our branch quickly took its place among all of the party organizations and supported our government with all its strength. We carried on true anti-fascist and party work simultaneously to clarify the purpose of the war and the task of everyone to do his duty in the sacred war against the Nazi beast. Dozens of our members left for the front. We supported them for the entire time, kept them as members and encouraged them in the bitter fight against the enemy of humanity.
On the battlefield during the war, we lost our comrade soldiers: L. Nestin, Friend Rubinstein and Lou Lefkowitz.
We bought bonds for tens of thousands of dollars and the branch was thanked by the Treasury Department. Our contribution to the U.S.A. Ration War Relief and other war aid agencies also was significant.
Our meeting when the returning soldiers visited the branch was a true holiday. The closeness, the camaraderie that the branch brought out among its members was felt. It was a triumphant holiday and a celebration for greeting our brave soldiers returning to their home, to their branch.
After the war our branch took part with all our strength in the great national task of strengthening the survivors of the Jewish people in Europe.
Our Order issued an appeal to collect a quarter million dollars in 1944 and a million dollars in 1945 to help the Jews in every nation and our branch reached the quota assigned to it for both appeals.
We carry out widespread work focused on the condition of the Jews in the suffering nations and call on every member to contribute more than they can.
Our aid actions will not end until Jewish life is normalized and we, as individuals and as an organization, will do its duty! We will help create the necessary unity of the American Jews for a widespread democratic program of aid work, for the solution of the Jewish question in the world, for the eradication of fascism and anti-Semitism, for insuring the rights and lives of the Jews.
The Branch and Relief
Branch 11 wrote an important chapter in the history of Czenstochower Relief and its very selfless work.
As a landsmanschaft branch, a Czenstochower organization, it also had local problems to solve. These were the problems of our home city where we had left our closest ones and friends. And we never forgot them. Czenstochow stood first in all of the money campaigns that we carried out.
Immediately at its founding the branch connected to the Relief [organization] organically and worked harmoniously with it. We helped work out the guidelines for Relief, carried out its work and widened its field of activities.
Our members of Relief took a distinguished position and thanks to their devotion to it, they obtained the recognition of all of the landsleit. Mr. Yakov Ber Silver, the chairman of the executive of Relief and also the chairman of the Czenstochower Yidn book committee, is certainly considered one of Relief's best activists. His own large monetary contributions, his extraordinary capabilities in leading Relief had a great significance in creating a United Relief that could become a meeting point for all
landsleit without distinction as to the political beliefs of groupings. Abe Kaufman, editorial member of the Czenstochower Yidn book, was connected to Relief from the first day of its existence. His contribution also is considerable. Alkana Crabalowski, an old member of our branch, is now one of the editors of the Czenstochower Yidn book, a worker widely known for his cultural and communal activities even in the old home, who greatly aided Relief with his work and particularly in the planning, publishing and editing of the book.
And we certainly cannot undervalue the work of such branch comrades as Joseph Rozenblat, Kaczminski, Gliksman.
As an organization, the branch always supported Relief materially and morally. It arranged several lectures about Relief and its activities. It called a special campaign for Relief in 1945. Although a large number of members were not from Czenstochow, each one answered the appeal. The branch brought 1,000 dollars to Relief, not counting the personal, individual contributions of our members.
This campaign was carried out by the entire executive with complete devotion and full responsibility, particularly by Comrades Brodski (himself not from Czenstochow) and Tanski.
Branch 11 will always cooperate with Relief and use every opportunity to support it in its sacred work on behalf of our brothers and sisters on the other side of the ocean.
The Czenstochower Branch 11 of the Jewish Fraternal People's Order can be proud of its 16-year existence, with its contribution to Jewish life and to the building of Jewish culture here in this country; with its contributions to the suffering Jews in Europe; for its enduring struggle for progress and against fascism and anti-Semitism; for its work with Czenstochower Relief.
The entire branch is not isolated by boundaries of narrow fraternalism, but is connected with every movement and with every camp that bears a progressive character, here in this country and in the life of the Jewish people.
The branch works with all organizations that will make Jewish life more secure and healthy, such as the American Jewish Congress and others. We are represented in the Federation of Polish Jews by Comrades Kaczminski and Louis Goldberg and we cooperate with the Federation in every area.
Greeting to Czenstochow
Through the mediation of the book, Czenstochower Jews, the Czenstochower branch 11 sends its hearty greeting to its brothers and sisters in Czenstochow with an encouragement in their difficult situation and promises every possible help for the building of Jewish life in our home city.
Branch 11 is certain that the Jewish community in Czenstochow will become even more vested, as before the war, because those from Czenstochow were always tested fighters for a new and more beautiful life, because a new day will sprout with hope in the lives of the entire Jewish people.
|Committee of Czenstochower Branch 11
of the Jewish Fraternal People's Order
in the United States
|Brothers Silver, Tanski, Wargon and A. Grosberg
|Officials of Branch 11 in 1964|
|Vice president||Carl Wargon;|
|Finance secretary||A. Grosberg;|
|Cultural director||Yakov Ber Silver;|
|Publicity and press||Dovid Tanski;|
|District delegate||Ruwin Berger;|
|Recording secretary||M. Nafman;|
|Fund for Needy||Joseph Rozenblat;|
|School Volunteers||[female] Comrade Frajlich,
[female] Comrade Sadie Berger,
Comrade Louie Goldberg.
the Polish Federation
|Max Kaczminsi, Louie Goldberg.|
Members of the Executive:
Members of the Executive:
|In addition to the above-mentioned officials the following people are members of the Executive:|
|Louis Brodski, Ellen Tanski, Sara Gliksman, [female] Comrade Rose Mandel, Comrade Willy Wilinger, Comrade Max Wajnrit.|
by J. Wein
Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund
The idea of organizing a Czenstochower branch of the Jewish National Workers Union arose among a group of Czenstochower landsleit [people from the same town] in New York who were members of the Poalei-Zion [Workers of Zion Marxist-Zionist] party. The initiators were H. Grosberg, Sh. Szlingbaum (Harlem branch), Moshe Censzinski and H. Win (branch 6). After the organizing of the Czenstochower branch, the four Wajnrit brothers and R. Berger, and later Avraham Litman, joined the Poalei-Zion party.
The founding meeting of the branch took place in 1917 on Ludlow Street, in the hall of the Jewish National-Radical People's School. Comrade Mitchel, the organizer of the Union, declared the principles and purposes of the New Worker's Order (the Union was founded in 1913). The first ones to join the Czenstochower branch were: Sh. Szlingbaum, R. Berger, the four Wajnrit brothers, S. Wilinger, A. Wilinger, H. Frajman, Grajcer, H. Win, Moshe Censzinski. H. Grosberg, the Wenglinski brothers, M. Szapira, L. Katel, A. Fridman. Later A. Birnbaum, Kh. Gliksman, Y. Gliksman, Izzy Haber (Radomski) and L. Litman joined.
The branch was officially installed on the 17th of April 1917 with a literary-musical evening. The chairman was Moshe Cenczinski. A banquet took place in the evening with H. Win as chairman.
The first finance secretary of the branch was Sh. Szlingbaum; the recording secretary Y. Grajcer. Our officials were: H. Win, R. Berger and H. Grosberg.
The Czenstochower branch of the union took an active part in the work of People's Aid that was created after the First World War, supported strikes by the Jewish workers, which were frequent then, and organized open-air meetings to support the candidates of the Socialist Party in Congress and the City Council.
The Czenstochower branch as a whole and all of its members dedicated themselves to the work of Czenstochower Relief in New York with the greatest devotion. They helped a great deal with the creation of the fund for the Y.L. Peretz house in Czenstochow. The branch and its members collected a large number of books for the general workers' library in Czenstochow. H. Win was the secretary of Czenstochower Relief for a long time.
The branch also was involved in cultural work and often arranged talks and readings about Jewish literature.
Several members of the branch attended the courses on political economy, Jewish history and the history of socialism that were given in 1919 by the party school of branch 6 of the Poalei-Zion party. Several of those members are now active in various areas of Jewish communal life.
With the issuing of the Balfour Declaration at the end of the First World War the Zionist idea strengthened in the Jewish neighborhoods and influences large masses of Jewish workers. The trade union campaign for Eretz-Yisroel was created, led by the secretary of the United Trade Unions and by the energetic
socialist fighter [Abraham Isaac] Shiplacoff, who had already collected several million dollars.
The Bolshevik Revolution that came as a result of the First World War shocked the worker masses of the world like a hurricane. The results of a passionate struggle between Zionism and communism were also felt in Czenstochower Branch 11 of the Jewish National Workers Union.
There were members who tried to hold together the 100 members of the branch by a synthesis between maximum and minimum (Bolshevik and Menshevik) socialism and the strivings of Zionism. However, they did not succeed in this. Like many other organization, the branch split. The great majority joined the International Workers Order. A minority remained in the Union and it was reorganized as the Yitzhak Ayzik Hurwicz Branch 10, to immortalize the name of the Jewish-educated theorist of the socialist movement in America and expert on immigration matters.
This ended the chapter of the Czenstochower Branch 11 of the Jewish National Workers Union.
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 Max
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
by R. Pozner
Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund
We remember our city with its trees and grass, paved streets and muddy streets. We remember the synagogue and house of prayer where our fathers went to pray, carried on conversations and studied. We also had poor people and those who gave charity and even a municipal crazy one like all other cities. And there were the doctor, the feldsher [barber-surgeon], the apothecary and the respected aristocratic Jews and there was the market with male and female peasants who brought all the good things to sell and Reb Haim who purchased a calf for a zlote more or less and clapped the peasant's hand.
And there is the salia [hall] to which the young people went to dance. And we also remember the Aleje [boulevard] where we strolled and romanced. And there is the church and the Yasna Gora [monastery famous for its Black Madonna]. And there is Jotka Street with young men and women. Revelries, beatings. This was a life!
And how beautiful the city looked on Shabbos [Sabbath] after the cholent [stew cooked overnight for the Sabbath meal]. How idyllic the Friday night appeared after the blessing of the candles when the mothers put on their bonnets and shone like the bright sun.
We also had an intelligentsia who turned up their noses and did not want to be friends with simple artisans. It was a colorful life with rain and storms, with sunshine and darkness, with richness and poverty and yet interesting and original and this is how it eternally remains in our memories.
Life in Czenstochow, our city of birth, is now crushed, burned and annihilated by the Nazi dogs. They defiled every sacred object, looted and destroyed and murdered our fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters, comrades and friends and all of Jewish Czenstochow, turning it into one large cemetery. Our
tragedy was wider than the sea. The ache and pain in our hearts cannot be told in words. No living person has created the words to mark them But as always we again stand ready to fulfill our debt to the city where we were born that will always remain in our hearts.
We will never forget the city where our parents were born and where we spent our childhood and young years. And even if, God forbid, no Jews remain living on Czenstochow soil, we will sanctify the stones on which we and our own walked.
The first immigrants from Czenstochow settled in Chicago in 1898. When the tsarist persecutions increased in 1905, many of the workers in Czenstochow were forced to leave their old home city because of their revolutionary activity and a large group of landsleit [people from the same town] settled in Chicago. In 1913 our landsleit began to think about organizing help in case of illness or death, first for our landsleit in Chicago itself. The unofficial union that was founded for this purpose that later also was occupied with sending aid to Czenstochow continued this way until 1919. At that time we founded the Czenstochower Arbeter Ring [Workmen's Circle] branch 459. The branch existed for only a short time. The general office dissolved it because it was too far to the left. We again were an unofficial organization until 1927 and continued to do relief work.
The branch also took part in cultural work and very often arranged talks and readings about Yiddish literature.
In 1924, in the presence of Friend A. Chrabolowski in Chicago, a Czenstochower Aid Union was created here to support the children's homes and Folkshuln [People's Schools] in Czenstochow. The most active workers in the Union were the Miskis, the Malarskis, Friend Weiss, Gotajner, Max Kabinski, Warszawski and a large group of the current Educational Union. The meeting of the Aid Union took place in Moshe Ceszinski's store (bookstore). That year several large undertakings were organized and larger sums [of money] were sent to Czenstochow.
In 1927 a group of landsleit came together in Friend Max Weiss's house at 3261 Armitage Avenue on the occasion of the 15th wedding anniversary of Leah and Louis Solomon. Among the 40 landsleit there were: Albert Astor, Morris Solomon and his wife, Miski and his family, the Federman family, Hymie Wolkow and a number of others.
It was a Sunday and after the wishes of Mazel Tov [good luck, often translated as congratulations], we talked about the city in which we were born. We decided then to lay a cornerstone for our Union. At the founding it was decided that the main work would be to support the Yitzhak Leibush Peretz Folkshul, which had a good reputation in Czenstochow and among the landsleit in America. It should be understood that those grine [greenhorns; new immigrants] just arriving influenced the undertaking of support for the folkshul.
The first organizational meeting was held in Parkway Hall on the 23rd of January 1927. At the meeting, Abe Miski was elected as the first secretary and A. Wolkow as chairman. And thus little by little our Union began to take a respected place among the Czenstochower landsleit in Chicago.
With pride we want to record here that in the first years of our existence we sent five to six hundred dollars each year to the Y.L. Peretz Folkshul. Thus we carried on the aid work until the Nazi scoundrels made a ruin of our home city and all the Jewish communities in Poland.
In the course of a year after the founding we enacted a sick benefit and the membership of the Czenstochower Union grew to around 200. Both the meetings and the work were always carried out in a homey and familiar manner. We also made an earnest attempt to draw our children into the Union. They actually were with us for a short time, did good work, but as it appears, the young people could not adjust [to working in the society].
We also created an aid fund in addition to the benefits for the members. This is a fund founded in the name of Saul Baum in
in 1920 in his house. We support every needy member from the fund. Very few of them have left the union in the course of its existence thanks to our contact with the members and landsleit.
We also want to record that we have paid out 9,000 dollars for a cemetery lot. Our members should live to be 120, but it is good sometimes to think of what will happen in the future
It should be understood that we take part in the activities of Jewish communal life. We support all of the important national organizations. We joined the Jewish Congress, support the trade union campaign for Eretz-Yisroel, Russian War Relief, the Red Cross as well as many other institutions.
In the present war [World War II] we can note with pride that we took part in every activity to help defeat the bloody enemy of the Jewish people and of all freedom-loving humanity. Although our organization is not one of the largest, we collectively, together with individual members, bought war bonds for 25,000 dollars.
We say with pride that 35 children of our members serve in the American army. The Czenstochower Union as a whole maintained contact with these children-soldiers through letters and gifts that we sent to them. We received many thank you letters that were read by our members.
We want to remember with respect and thanks all of the presidents, who faithfully served our Union with heart, soul and dedication, for their devoted work: Emil Wolkow, Izzy Miski, Dr. F. Owiecki, Abe Miski, Morris Salomon, Rubin Warszawski, Zelig Gotayner, Jack Levant, Saul Baum, Louis Gross, Louis Winer, Dr. Lou Gotayner and the current president, Max Wajs. We particularly recognize George Fisher, the former secretary who occupied his post for over 10 years and did his work with great conscientiousness and dignity.
We believe that each member who worked with us from the first day on is worthy of being mentioned in acknowledgement [of their work]. However, only those who occupied high office have been recorded at various opportunities and we will not break with tradition. However, let us say that the contribution of our members to the Czenstochower and Vicinity Education Organization and its services have not diminished. Such dedicated landsleit will never be forgotten.
The Czenstochower and Vicinity Educational Organization in Chicago took part in the conference of all of the landsmanschaftn in America and Canada, which took place in New York in the summer of 1945 with a large number of delegates. The delegates from the organization took an active part in the conference and excelled in revising the resolutions. The union joined the central executive of all of the landsmanschaftn in America, supported the undertaking to publish the book Czenstochower Yidn that needs to immortalize the past life of our home city and with all of the Czenstochow landsleit is ready to extend its fraternal hand to the survivors on the other side and to help them build and reestablish their lives.
In conclusion, in the name of all of our members, landsleit friends and comrades in Chicago, we want to send a fraternal greeting to all of the surviving brothers and sisters in our home city and all of the Jews who were saved from the bloody claws of the Nazi cannibals. Our great sorrow and sadness because of all of our dear ones who tragically perished is mixed with pride for our heroes who fell in an unequal titanic struggle with the hangmen.
May these Jewish heroes in the Warsaw Ghetto, who like the Maccabees sanctified the name of the Jewish people, be blessed. May those who carried on the struggle against the bloody hangmen of the Jewish people in the Polish forests be blessed.
The courage of our heroes will strengthen us and give us new strength to continue our work and to fight for the future and earthly good fortune of the Jewish people.
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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