Young and old were assisted by them. Among the others, it is appropriate to note Leibel Kleiner, an active member of Tzeirei Zion and Leib Stolyar, who would trick the guards of the bridge with the pretext that he was accompanying the refugee, who was a worker who was assisting him, and that they were going to work in Sloboda. Thus, he succeeded in bringing dozens of refugees to the route to Kishinev, and saving them from the talons of the Sigurnata (Security Police).
Indeed, the spontaneous response of the Jewish population in Bessarabia in general, and of the residents of our city in particular, to assist their unfortunate brethren who fled from the evil in Ukraine was epic and glorious. On the other hand, the communal activists were detained for 3-4 years from doing anything for the local needy. The economic situation was generally bad, and the communal council had to concern themselves with social issues. Aliza Shpilberg-Chokla tells about this era:
In May 1925, my father Gedalya, who served as the accounting director of the communal council for many years, died. The communal council hired me as a cashier. I began working in January 1926. Nissel the son of Yoel Pagis and Miryam Beznos (today Rabinovitz who lives in Herzliya) worked in the office.
Since the communal council renewed its activities in 1924, it succeeded in uniting all of the civic institutions that were dependent on the Jewish community, and it obtained a provisional permit from the Romanian government to authorize the communal charter. The united institutions worked under this charter for several years without disturbance.
This organizational situation brought a serious change in income, because of the levying of taxes, the increased distribution from the city council, and the meat tax. Several amendments to the communal charter were added, such as the maintaining of organized accounting, communal audits, etc.
Aliza adds: With appreciation, I recall the significant help that we communal workers provided to the communal leaders in their difficult task of supporting those who suffered from ill fortune. We attempted to provide them with the necessary information as quickly as possible. To those who lost their livelihoods, we would discretely deliver assistance to their homes, and thereby prevent any dishonor to them
Fasir writes: Our economic situation is very depressed. However, the decree to prove our rights of citizenship is even harsher. From the time of the conquest of Bessarabia, many of the residents of Orheyev who were registered as being born in Transnistria and were not able to locate their birth certificates, which had never been requested of them, as well as the refugees from Ukraine who remained in Bessarabia, are indeed able to obtain certificates for the payment of a significant sum of money. However, most of those who are lacking the certificates are from among the poor.
In order to ease the obtaining of citizenship, the communal council set up a judicial office that helps those who turn to it with advice and guidance. This is the committee that has been described in the Yiddish newspaper Unzer Tzeit that is published in Kishinev (8 Adar I, 5698, February 7, 1939).
Permit us to announce to the entire Jewish population of the city of Orheyev and the villages of the region that the Orheyev Jewish Community has founded a judicial office that will give specific information regarding any questions about rights of citizenship.
All Jews are requested to come to the office, where they will receive the necessary information.
The office hours are from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Jewish Community of Orheyev
The political situation is also depressed. Permission is not given for a gathering unless it is to be conducted in the Romanian language. This decree prevents the majority of the community that does not understand Romanian from being able to participate in meetings. Therefore, the communal institutions have been hard hit. The Tarbut School, which does not have the legally required labor department, stands to be closed by the government unless a way is found to unite the school with the ORT trade school. Even under this circumstance, we will have to overcome many serious obstacles.
The government decision to revoke the independence of the Jewish credit cooperatives and to include them in the Romanian cooperative network is also frightening. The roots of the cooperative movement in the economic and social realms of Jewish communal life for its 40 years of existence are known. The directors of the Farband and its head Yosef the son of Yisrael Pagis (the lawyer) are fighting with all of their talents to prevent this decree, however, without positive results. Imagine for yourself how great the destructive influence will be on the loan funds in their place, and also for us. How knows what is to come?
From the letter of Leyderberg (July 1939) ( Avraham Malovatsky supplied the letter to the editors.)
The political tension continues to increase. An army draft was proclaimed up to the age of 50. Daily, masses are sent to the regiments. The population is perplexed and confused, and nobody knows what tomorrow will bring The selling of matzos was limited because so many Jews had been drafted to the army. This negatively affected the allocations of the communal council. On the other hand, the stress upon many families whose husbands had been drafted, and to whom the community was not able to offer assistance, increased. Even with this difficult situation, the oppositionists did not desist from spying on the communal council. Luck was in their favor. The central Liberal government fell, and the Taranists (ed. note: Peasants' Party) came to power. One of their comrades was appointed as head of the branch, and thereby their status in the community took hold. The previous council, headed by Yaakov Volovsky, was fired. In the meantime, the suffering of those who required help grew, without anyone coming to the rescue.
Indeed, the clouds that darkened your skies, oh community of Orheyev, grew even before the hand of the enemy overtook you. Your activists struggled greatly for your existence for many dozens of years. However, the storm destroyed and uprooted. The holy community fell, Orheyev and its natives perished and were destroyed by strangers
May their memory be kept with us forever.
Seated from right to left: 1. D. Belfer 2. A. Shander 3. Y. Milshteyn 4. C. Veksler 5. [alef]. Rybukovsky
Seated from right to left: 1. Lawyer Moshe Ravich 2. Rivka Levinson 3.
Such were the educational conditions in our city as well 75 years ago.
At that time, a group of activists arose to rectify the educational situation, concerning themselves primarily with the children of the poor.
Yosef Rabinovitz writes the following in Hamelitz of March, 1866: In our town, a source of salvation was opened for the children of the poor. That is the Talmud Torah, the likes of which there never was before in Orheyev or in any other of the cities of Bessarabia. However, luck was not satisfied with the Good that fell to the lot of our children in the Talmud Torah. A curse was awaiting them that turned into a blessing. Within a few months of the opening of the Talmud Torah, the building went up in flames, and the children that remained were not able to study Torah. However the hands of the activists did not weaken. Within a brief period of time, they fixed up a house of seven large rooms, filled with lights. 112 children studied Torah there from seven teachers who carried out the holy task. Many families who have the means also send their children to this school
In those days, it was a daring act for the parents and the supervisors to send Jewish children to a Christian school. Therefore, according to the words of the writer: There were many fanatics in our city that complained and groaned bitterly about the fate of these children. They became angry at the supervisors, and were prepared to destroy the Talmud Torah to its foundations. On the other hand, we find an important assessment in Hamelitz about the aforementioned step of the parents and the teachers by the editor Erez, as follows: Hear this our brethren in the cities of Poland and Bessarabia, and take a lesson, this matter will only succeed with a willing soul and good intellect! It seems that there were very few Jewish communities where public education for the children of the poor stood at the forefront of the thoughts of the communal activists in the way that it did in Orheyev.
To our distress, we were not able to find any other information about communal life in Orheyev in the newspapers, and the era of 1866-1887 is closed to us. Apparently, after Y. Rabinovitz left the city, another writer did not arise for about 20 years. This was the writer Shegav.
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