I remember as a child the first Zionist organization in Rozniatow. In the year 1900-1901, the Zionists donated a Torah Scroll in the synagogue. This was a great festivity with the participation of the Kaluszer Music. People went through the city, carrying the Torah scroll under a canopy, accompanied by music, dancing and singing, until it reached the synagogue. Youths, children and adults, observant and non-observant, all participated.
At that time, the leaders of the Zionist organization were: Meir Yankel (chairman), Bunim Geller, Buni Reizler, Leib Yankel, Mendel Horowitz, Hersch Horowitz, Shlomo Gross, Chaim Asher Yankel, Psachya Turteltaub, Velvel Adler, Y. L. Ortman, Herman Horowitz, and many others whose names I cannot recall.
This was the only Zionist organization for the entire time until the First World War. It conducted large scale cultural activity in Rozniatow, and had a large library. It was liquidated during the war years.
A Jewish people's kitchen for the poor was established in Rozniatow in 1936. The head of the people's kitchen was the physician Dr. Moritz Diamand. A women's committee participated.
Moshe Rosenberg was the chairman of the Keren Kayemet. There were Hebrew courses that took place in the home of Avraham and Pesia Groll.
I recall the following Hebrew teachers: Moshe Barnik and Z. Fasberg (living in Israel). There were others whose names I do not remember.
Seeing that the Chovevei Zion had no chance of continuing to exist, several young men decided to found a Poale Zion organization. It was difficult, both because of the hostile opinion of the Polish authorities of the time toward the Jews, as well as the lack of money. The only way to raise money was through a drama club.
Seated: Mordechai Trau, Yehuda Hirsch Stern, Levi Rosenman
Second row: David Nussbaum
Third row: 4th Izak Barnik, 7th Mordechai Hoffman
A drama club also had to be legalized by the Polish administration, and had to have an official name. We requested a grant to open a culture club, without party affiliation, which would also serve as the drama club. In order to expedite the permit, the committee asked the lawyer Dr. Sh. Sapir to be our honorary president. Thus was our organization created.
The committee consisted of Dr. Shimon Sapir, Shalom Rechtschaffen, Leon Horowitz – a jurist who was murdered by the Nazis, Moshe Lutwak (in America) Yitzchak Berman (in Haifa) and Ben-Zion Horowitz (in Holon).
The most active young people in the town, bright and with sparkling temperaments, belonged to the drama club. Although it was officially not aligned with a party, most of the members were Zionistically inclined. The Zionist ideal ignited and swayed the hearts of the Jewish youth and the middle aged intelligentsia. Everyone felt an initial sensation of ascent and renewal. We conducted debates, and hastily realized the dream of a Jewish nationalist restoration. The nationalist awakening, which stormed through the mind and instilled hope for a blessed, fortunate tomorrow for the redemption of the long victimized Jewish people, progressed in parallel with the cultural life
People who were dedicated with heart and soul gathered around the drama club. Among them were those who felt that this work was like a holy mission. They threw themselves into the activity with sincere enthusiasm. At that time our town went through an era of social and nationalist ascent. The spirits were warmed both by the bustling activism and the orderliness and calmness of the revelation of people in their spiritual manifestations.
I intended to have seven cups
Of the six, only one unfortunately remained
However, misfortune gestured to me from the ground,
That I have, blessed is G-d, two full ones there.
As I wished, so it was
I have, blessed is G-d, one more cup
However since I cannot see it
A tear often falls from me.
I am going to plant the first twigs in the land of Israel
With tears of joy I water the saplings.
Tilla! We will, G-d willing dance there
When we make use of the lovely fruit
…. Your parents
Rozniatow January 16, 1939
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