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[Page XLIV English]

Personalities

 

Yitzhak Katzenelson: in his birthplace
(From “Yitzhak Katzenelson: His Life and Works” by Zippora Katzenelson-Nachumov, Chapter 22, pp. 150 ff.)

by Zippora Katzenelson-Nachumov

The visit of Yitzhak Katzenelson to his home town, following a tour of Jewish communities in Lithuania, had all the earmarks of a festival. He was given a public welcome at the railway station and taken to the home of his grandfather, Rabbi Yitzhak Yechiel, where his cradle was being kept as a memento of Korelitz's famous son.

He spent the few days of his visit with the young people, strolling with them along the road or across the fields, singing Hebrew and Yiddish songs, and talking about the Land of Israel. He urged his young compatriots to go there: “Dear Jewish sons and daughters, your place is in the Land of Israel. Go there and build a new life for yourselves.”


Yaakov Binyamin Katzenelson

Born in Kapulie in 1859. Studied in Volozhin and Kovno. Author of Olelot Efrayim (1889), in which he described the vaunted Maskilim (enlightened) as rank opportunists. Under the pseudonym “Ben Yemini”, he wrote for the Hebrew encyclopedia , Ha-Eshkol (Warsaw), visiting Korelitz to see his wife, the daughter of Korelitz's rabbi, R. Yitzhak Yechiel Davidson. Their son Yitzhak was born in 1886.

In its eulogy, the newspaper “Hajnt” (November 28, 1931) said: “…He lived and breathed love for the Hebrew tongue and the Jewish people. His erudition in Judaica was immense, particularly in Jewish history… for many years he was engaged in pedagogy, and the generation of disciples whom he reared was always his pride and joy…”


My Father: Moshe Avrohom,
son of R' Shaoul Naftoli Osherowitz

Kalman Osherowitz – Raanana

One may say that my grandfather Shaoul Naftoli was the victim of progress: the introduction of the railway into the area put his horse-and-wagon transport system out of business. He wanted his son to engage in a less exacting occupation, and had him learn the art of leatherworking for tephillin and Torah scrolls. My father also became active in the religious life of the community, as a clerk of the Rabbinical Court, mesadder kedushin (officiating at weddings), and advisor to young rabbis. He was also the mohel and advisor in special maternity cases. Much of his attention was given to the Hevra Kaddisha and the administration of the cemetery, and he still found time to conduct a class in Mishnayot.

As an ardent Zionist, it was always his dream to settle in Eretz-Israel. We helped him achieve it; we brought him to the Land of Israel, at the age of 78 and bought him a plot of land in Herzliya. He passed away at the age of 88.


Pesach Kaplan

Hassia Turtel-Oberzhansky
Y.H. Biletzky

A leading public figure in Korelitz, Pesach Kaplan was privileged to live in Eretz-Israel scores of years. His activities in Korelitz were legendary: he was concerned with communal welfare, education, intercession with the inimical Czarist authorities and, later, with the anti-Semitic Polish Republic. He spent a few years in the United States, and on his return became the English-language expert, writing letters for Korelitz residents to their relatives across the sea. He was very musical and served as cantor in the new synagogue. All of his children settled in Eretz-Israel, and toward the end of his days he lived with them in their kibbutzim and moshavim, where he was extremely popular. He taught the new pioneers many things about their people and history. At the time of his death he was over 90.


Gershon Eliasberg

Born in Novohorodek in 1976, he chose his father's career - pharmacy, and after years of study and work in Russia returned to Korelitz. By that time he already had to his credit extensive experience in public affairs - youth leadership and professional branch organization. In Korelitz he devoted himself to the rehabilitation of the families which had undergone economic ruin, and formed ties of the “Yekope” aid association, later becoming a member of its board. He founded the People's Cooperative Bank in Korelitz, and was active in the Rebuilding Commission, Free Loan Society and various general welfare societies of the town, gaining the respect and gratitude of all its inhabitants.


Shalom Cohen

Born into a rabbinic family (1880), he worked as a bookkeeper from the age of 18 to the outbreak of the World War. Deported from Korelitz by the Germans, he went to his father's family in Novohorodok, where he helped carry on the relief work among Jewish victims of the war in the area. After the war he continued with public affairs - Secretary to the first democratically elected Community Council in the town, a founder of the Folk School (he also taught there) and a member of the “Jakufa” (“Yekope”) Committee's Free Loan Society division.


[Page XLVII English]

Alter Greenfeld

by Hassia Turtel-Oberzhansky

A true cultural activist, his interests ranged from organizing a children's club and working with the Hehalutz Council to extensive travel all over the province to deliver lectures, editing bulletins and writing poems and essays. In Novohorodek he participated in the periodical “Navaredoker Leben”, signing his writings A. Gad. His volume of poetry, Mir Iz Gut (I have It Made) was published by the Korelitz Library in 1936,and his other manuscripts were awaiting publication, but when the Russian army entered Poland he went to Russia and was not heard from since.


[Page XLVIII English]

Feivel Nisselevitz

by Yaacov Abramowich

He was the postman of the town, along with his being a coachman. Everyone who needed transportation to Novohorodok (21 kilometers) wanted to ride with Feivel. His tunes and anecdotes were much to the liking of his passengers, although he did ask them to walk up the steep inclines on the way to make it easier for the horses. The police at the Novohorodok checkpoint knew him well and waved him through without inspection.

His family was wiped out by the Nazis, except for one daughter, who left for Eretz-Israel before the war and settled in Tel Yosef.

 

Coordinator's note: The Yiddish text (Page 203) is similar to the English text, but includes additional information as follows:

Notes by Harvey Spitzer

The only genealogical information not included in the English translation is the name of Feivel's only surviving child: Feigel ( Faygl) (see last sentence). The rest of the Yiddish text deals with his lame horse (which he refused to replace although it took twice as long to get to Novogrudek and back) and about a Russian peasant in the town of Radun (half way) who offered Feivel a glass of milk every time he passed by. Feivel, in turn, brought the peasant gifts such as a comb, handkerchief or a pair of socks.


The Porush, Kalman Marashiner

by Yaacov Abramowich

He used to come to our school just before dismissal time, then take the boys with him to the Bet-Hamidrash and had them recite Psalms, in return for which he gave them gifts - a pencil, notebook and other small items of this kind.

He spent his entire day in the Bet-Hamidrash. Malkah, his wife, would bring his meals to him, and instead of sleeping he would lie on the wooden bench and take a brief nap, despite the sound of study around him.

In time he and his wife joined their children in Eretz-Israel.

 

Coordinator's note: The Yiddish text (Page 204) is similar to the English text, but includes additional information as follows:

(Translated by Harvey Spitzer)

[In Israel] they lived with their son, Aharon, in Kfar Ma'as. Kalman resumed his life of study in the Beit Midrash in a hut in Kfar Ma'as, and later in the synagogue in near-by Gat Rimon. He also visited their daughter, Shifra, in Givataim, where she lived with her family. (Shifra was subsequently killed in a car accident, leaving behind her husband and children.)

In 1947 I met with Kalman and his wife in Kfar Ma'as, near Petach Tikvah. They would often visit my sister Menucha with her husband Haim Itzkovitz and family.

Kalman passed away on 10 Av 5711 (1951). His wife, Malka, died on 25 Tishrei 5713 (1953).

 

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