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{Image 2 and 3} – Uncaptioned drawings of scenes in the town.

{Image 4} – A map of Lithuania, with Yiddish captions. Jonava is circles.

{Image 5} – Map of Jonava by memory (Map follows on next two pages – several streets are listed on the map itself in Yiddish rather than on the key. I did not transcribe these here.)

{Image 8} – The key to the map.

Map of Jonava

Places, structures, communal institutions

1. Bridge
2. Train bridge
3. Forest
4. Train pass
5. Sawmill and flourmill
6. Memorial monument
7. Oran match factory
8. Train station
9. Christian cemetery
10. Basketball field
11. Jewish cemetery
12. Water mill
13. Swirling mountain (Hebrew: Har Hasecharchoret)
14. Small bridge
15. Brick kiln
16. Slaughterhouse
17. Fire station
18. Beach
19. Synagogue
20. Hospital
21. Maccabee Hall
22. Vylia
23. Cooperative store
24. Pharmacy
25. Hospital
26. Progymnasium
27. Bus station
28. Passageway
29. Billiard hall
30. Beach
31. Apportioned field
32. Barracks
33. Town hall
34. Horse and cattle market
35. Sawmill and flourmill (Opnitzky)
36. Park
37. Sawmill and flourmill (Segalovsky)
38. Post office
39. Lithuanian school
40. Lithuanian culture hall
41. Synagogue
42. Synagogue
43. Synagogue
44. Synagogue
45. Tarbut School
46. Jalinovich house
47. Market
48. Two storey house
49. Movie theater
50. Two storey house
51. Two storey house
52. Two storey house (Burstein)
53. Hall
54. Two storey house (Weiner)
55. New Beis Midrash
56. Madis sawmill
57. Synagogue
58. Street of the Road
59. Breizer Street
60. Synagogue
61. Kovno Street
62. Residence
63. Village

{Image 9}

Book of Jonava

To perpetuate the memory
Of the Jews of the town
That was destroyed in the Holocaust

Published by the Organization of Jonava Natives in Israel
With the assistance of Jonava natives of the United States and South Africa
5733, 1972
Published by Arieli Co., Israel

{Note: this title page is in Hebrew, the one on the following page is in Yiddish. That explains the duplication. Image 11 repeats some of the material on Yiddish 10, once again in Hebrew.}

{Image 10}

Jonava
On the Banks of the Vylia

In memory of the destroyed Jewish community of Jonava

Material collected by Yitzchak [Ben-David] (Burstein)
Edited by Shimon Noy [(Gorfein)]
Illustrations: Larisa Balnik

Published by the Organization of Jonava Natives in Israel
With the assistance of Jonava natives of the United States and South Africa
5733, 1972

{Image 11} – Jonava on the Banks of the Vylia

Material collected by Yitzchak Burstein
Edited by Shimon Noy
Illustrated by Larisa Balnik


[Page V]

{Image 13 –}

On January 17, 1967, we unveiled the memorial plaque for the martyrs of Jonava that had been set up in the Holocaust Cellar. On that winter day, when snow covered the streets of our capital with a white blanket, about 30 natives of our town gathered for a modest ceremony to honor our martyrs of the Holocaust after 26 years. Those who were present will never forget those moving moments of unity.

At that gathering, the members of the organizing committee decided to publish a book that would perpetuate our town for future generations. An opinion was expressed not to publish a book. The reasons were that the end of the elders who remember Jonava will be death, and the younger generation, the children of those who came from the town, born in Israel, America, or Russia are not interested in such a topic. Therefore, it would be a shame to invest so much energy and money into this. The majority stood firmly on their opinion with the hope that the 350 natives of the town, scattered in the Land and throughout the Diaspora, would leaf through the book and read it with feelings of honor and love. Their town would spread out for a second time before the eyes of their spirit – with its cultural and social institutions, buildings, activists, and common folk. They claimed that no small number

{Photo: A meeting of the book committee. October 20, 1968. From right to left, from top to bottom: Hasia and Baruch Kursnik, Moshe Barron, Zeev Ofek, Daniel Rikless, Menachem Levin, Shimon Noy, Baruch Lin, Rabbi Aryeh Lipshitz, Panirsky, Yitzchak Burstein, Dina Rikless, Shmuel Bolnik.}

[Page VI]

{Photo: June 2, 1971. B Lin., Mordechai Rashkes, Shoham, Yitzchak B.[urstein], Bolnik, M. Levin, Z. Ofek, Eliahu Kagan, D. Rikless, Batya [nee] Goldshmid (Perevoznik), Meir Tzoref (Goldshmid), Rabbi Lipschitz, Sh.[imon] Noy, Dina R. Zahava Saker (Sirek), Leah Segalovsky (Burstein)}


of the second and third generation of our town would taken interest in the book, in order research their ancestral heritage. There are some among them who know about the life of the town very well, and who know many of the typical stories of their parents and events that took place in the town.

Miriam Zakhary (Lomiansky-Wulf) wrote to us from California: In response to your request, I have decided to write memoirs. In this I wish to fulfil the request of my son Morton, who was born in America, who asked me: “Mother, write your memoirs. I want my children to know about your roots.”

Riva Shalovitz lives in Bat Yam. She is a teacher in the Geulim School, and a native of Jonava. She came here as a child. Her mother is Yentl Solomon. When the schools began exercises about destroyed communities, she recalled Jonava. How much effort did she put in to gather together the natives of the town, and to make contact with us! How much interest did the teachers and students display in their meetings and sharing of ideas with Zeev Ofek, Sara Burstein, Eliahu Kagan, Mordechai Rashkes, Chana Zimrani, and Yitzchak Burstein. The school dedicated a special corner to our town, and this served also as educational material.

As we began our efforts, we were astonished at the required monetary sums and the great effort involved in the gathering of material and fundraising. The Society of Jonava Natives of New York, founded in 1906, should be mentioned for praise. The chairman of the organization Yisrael Goldberg and the secretary Efraim Zilberman answered us positively and promised us their full assistance. They thereby strengthened our hands. We also received a warm and positive response from the Vinitzky brothers – Julius and Maurie Vinton from Hartford, U.S.A. They aroused their wide-branched family to activity, including the second and third generations. Sara Baker (Solomon) and Alan Salkan (Bin) of Johannesburg must also be singled out for praise. Without the spiritual and material support of all of these and others, perhaps our hands would have weakened.

Unlike other towns of Lithuania, Jonava had something unique. The reader will certainly discover its unique characteristics, about which he had not yet learned, as he reads through the book. To the Jewish residents of this town, to its youth who were educated with Mapu's novels and who dreamed of the Land of Israel, to those who have a part in what transpired and what is transpiring here in the Land, and to the scattered natives of Jonava wherever they are – to you this book is dedicated.

In the name of the Book Committee
Yitzchak Ben-David [Burstein]


[Page VII]

A Word from the Editor

I commenced the work of editing with awe and trepidation, and I conclude it with mixed emotions; from seeing what this book has and does not have.

Those who toiled and labored to bring the book to print realize that the material is not balanced. It is possible that we elongated where we should have shortened, while other subjects came out brief and truncated. However, this matter was not dependent on us, but rather on account of the response to our request that we received from no small number of people, who for some reason did not pick up their pens and give of their time to write chapters, segments of life and memories of days gone by. If we had to visit all of these people to record what they had to say, the publication of the book would have been delayed for too long. For the most part, the lacunae are due to the fact that some of those who could relate a great deal about the life of the Jewish community of Jonava are no longer alive.

We attempted to fill in the lacunae with many pictures, which also tell a great deal. As the Chinese motto says, a picture is worth 2,000 words.

More than sixty people participated in the book.

You will not find literary works in the content of this book, but rather material dredged from loving and sorrowful hearts, which were glancing backward with anger and longing. Each person has his own style. As much as possible, we attempted to leave the material in the manner that it was written, as well as to make it easy to read, and to remove extraneous material that bogs down the reading, and repeats material that others, who wrote earlier, had already dealt with.

We could not provide too much material in Yiddish and English, for we were restricted by budgetary constraints that restricted the dimensions of the book.

We included in English the three articles that were given to us. These were fine, broad and exhaustive articles. They have also been translated into Hebrew. English speakers will be able to make up the lacunae in the long Yiddish section, provided that they have not forgotten that language. With regard to the second generation of our natives overseas, as their interest increases they will have to learn Hebrew.

In 1968, when the idea of the book was first presented in a meeting that was called for that purpose, we were of small faith. What before what – material or “material”, that is to say, articles or money, or vice versa? Now that we have come to give our blessings to the completed task, we must first and foremost thank the dedication of Yitzchak Burstein who was the living spirit in this matter, and dedicated all of his free time and great effort to this endeavor.

All of those who answered us and assisted us must be thanked – and these are not few. We must primarily thank Daniel and Dina Rikless, who gave over themselves, their home and their car to the activities on behalf of the book. Even though not everything is in it, one can turn it over again and again, and the years of our lives from our common past will be revealed once again.

First and foremost, this book should serve as a memorial to our dear ones, who were prematurely cut off from the land of life.


[Page VIII]

Bitter Events in the History of the Jewish Community of Jonava

1895 – The first great fire.
1904 – The second great fire.
1915 – The expulsion (on the eve of Shavuot).
1941 – The day of murder in the forest, 20 Av, 5701, August 13.

[Pages IX-XII]

Table of Contents

[Pages XIII– XV]

List of Pictures and Drawings[1]

Y[israel] . Y[aakov]. Pogir and his wife Chana [USA]3
Sh[imon]. Noy (Gorfein) [Kibbutz Amir]6
Miriam Zakhary (Lomiansky-Wulf) [USA]8
Sholem the Balagole, wagon driver9
Youths on a raft11
Y[itzchak Ben-David] Burstein12
Blacksmiths 13
Sh[muel]. Goldshmid [London]15
Noach Stern22
The cemetery24
Yitzchak B[en-David (Burstein)]. and Zelig Epstein33
Meir Tzoref (Goldshmid)38
At the play “Yankel the Blacksmith”41
Students of the Culture League49
Summer holiday in Sponenai52
The Street of the Road (Hakhvish Street)55
Gorfein’s house 56
Mendel Gorfein57
Sara Burstein58
David Burstein (Drawing) 61
The Burstein family67
Dov Blumberg68
Ala Daltisisky-Abramovich70
Zelig prepares sulfur 71
Zeev and Beila 72
Rabbi Yehuda Movshovich, Aryeh Solsky 73
Shoshana and Mordechai Rashkes74
Rachel Rashkes76
Father (drawing)77
David Rubin78
The Rubin family79
The Levin family81
The Goldshmid family 83
Baruch Lin (Ilinevits) [Ramat Gan]88
Moshel 89
Perlstein’s parents 90
Zisla’s parents 97
Chaim Khermoni (Munits)98
Leib Opnitsky, Batya Tauba Opnitsky102
Rachel Ben-Yehuda (Mintz)106
D[aniel]. Rikless [Tel Aviv]109
Rikless family111
Shimon Shapira114
Reb Chaim Mratchk 117
Morris Vintshevsky 117
Yisrael Davidson118
Dov Zisla 120
Y[eshiyahu. Kulbiansky122
M[oses]. Ivensky125
Gordonia128
N[oach]. Stern in Kibbutz Amir130
Golda Sirek (Sakar) (Givataim)134
Moshe David Mar (drawing)140
Maccabee Sportsmen143
Eliahu Kagan (Tel Aviv)144
Members of Tzeirei Tzion – Hitachdut148
With soldiers, the “Brit Hakhayil” organization149
Members of the Hashomer Hatzair Chapter150
The teachers Yoselevich and Dov Zisla 152
Shlomo Ber Meirovich156
Reb Menachem Mendel Deitz, Hashomer Hadati 157
Memorial Plaque 165
Yerachmiel Garber171
Nachum Blumberg173
“I took up an axe..” (drawing)177
As the shepherd sees life…179
Lipa Berzin188
Chaya Leah Kravchok[2]189
Miriam Lan 197
In the destroyed cemetery201
Shmuel Sofer 218
Sinai Persky227
[Sidney Iwens] (Yeshayahu Ivensky)229
Dovid Friedman241
Shlomo Berzin242
Tzvi Levin243
Chana the partisan (drawing)246
David Burstein (drawing)263
Yitzchak and Miriam [Ben-David] (Burstein) in Siberia271
Eidel Burstein (drawing)273
Batya Perevoznik (nee Goldshmid)276
The girls of the Geulim School on the memorial day280
The students of Geulim at the identification event282
Yitzchak Pogirsky and his family283
Yerubaal and Hillel Lavie284
Mordechai Herman285
 
In the Yiddish Section
Y[Israel]. Pogir291
Efraim Zilberman294
A Maccabee March in the Girelka Forest295
Mari Vintman (Moshe Vinitsky)307
Yudel and Tzipora Vintman309
Avraham-Yitzchak the Shochet310
Make Hamotzie, child (drawing: A. Kanan)314
Dovid Friedman317
Shacharit Service (illustration)318
The Wagon Driver (illustration)327
Leiba the Water Carrier (illustration)328
The Fine Singer, Yosel the Tzimes (illustrations)329
Mende the Head of Hair (illustration)333
The Water Carrier (illustration) 335
Avraham Yitzchak Avrahamovich337
Meita the Baker (illustration)339
The Policeman (illustration)344
Shmerl Stern359
Shmuel Balnik362
A Wedding in Siesiki364
At the Monument371
Reizl David (Rashkes) 376
Yerachmiel Garber382
Chana Leah Gutler (Kravchok) 392
Rachel Spigler-Mankovsky397
Hershel Levin402
Shaultufer and Greenblatt with Tzeirei Tzion409
A share of the Jewish Colonial Bank in the name of Basha Tartak (Perlstein), 1901410
Memorial script in the Holocaust Cellar412
Managing Committee of the Jonava Organization of New York with the participation of Y[Israel]. Pogir 427
 
In the English Section
Miriam Zakhary (Lomiansky-Wulf)5
Pretty girls at the waterfall of the mill6
Yoska Ablaz (illustration)6
Menda the Head of Hair 10
Tarbut School, teachers and students12
The water carrier (illustration)14
[Sidney Iwens] (Y[eshiyahu]. Ivensky15

[Page XVI]

List of Pages of Pictures and Drawings

General views on the Vylia8
On the Street24
People of various ages and generations32
A party of the carpenters36
The Shapira family and the grandmother86
With the Achva Chalutzim, Hechalutz and Hechalutz Hatzair104
Drawings by A Kagan and [Yeshiyahu] Kulbiansky120
Drawings by Shifra Lomiansky124
Images128
Floods136
Organizations and parties144
Young Zion, Hashomer Hatzair, Revisionist Zionists148
Schools: Tarbut, Yavneh152
Fire in the Town, Smiths160
Jonava in flames168
Next to the memorial monument240
In Siberia272
Batya [Perevoznik (nee Goldshmid)] in Siberia276
Those making efforts, and the room of perpetuation280
Shmidan298
The four Voves and Pogir308
Siesiki364
With A. Zilberman428


Translator's Footnotes

  1. In all the pictures, the people are to be identified from top to bottom, from left to right. Return

  2. In the table of contents, this was 'Chana'. One of them is obviously a typo. Return

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