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A Short Report of Our Activities

Rosa Dvoretsky, President, United Steibtz Ladies Organization in America, Organized in 1924

In the year 1927 I arrived from our beloved little town Steibtz, young, full of energy and already a member of the General (men's') Association. When I heard that there was a womens' organization called the Steibtz Ladies Aid Society, naturally it attracted me. As soon as I became a member I was taken to the bosom of the society. We met once a fortnight at our meetings. Members paid $4 a year.

The purpose is to help landsleit (people from the same town, village or district) , visit the sick, express feelings at times of grief and mourning, and share in all sorrows and joys.

In those days there were strikes and unemployment and trouble of every kind. Even in wealthy America.

Then we used to supply families with milk, butter, eggs for those who needed those things. We used to supply families with coal for a whole winter and a few dollars on the side. There were cases when we used to run to hospitals every week in order to bring pocket-money to a woman of our town who had lost her feet poor thing. We brought a wheelchair and bought a bed in the same hospital in order that more attention should be paid to her.

We also had a Gemilat Hesed free loan society where members could borrow money without any guarantee and without paying interest.

We made the money for all these things by selling raffle books, arranging theatrical benefits, dances, picnics where we women used to sell delicacies which we cooked and baked ourselves. We used to send food parcels to the soldiers belonging to the Steibtz landsleit who were in the army during the Second World War.

Our finest and best way is to express and explain festivals like Hanukkah, Purim or Passover. Before Passover there was always and still is a package party to which every woman brings a few well-packed little parcels. These are all auctioned off. The same women buy. Sometimes the parcel is not worth more than fifty cents for which we gladly pay several dollars, knowing that the money goes for Passover needs, and somebody will enjoy the holiday thanks to it.

Years passed, times change. Now there is insurance. We already have married children and grandchildren. Life is easier. There are not so many poor people.

Now there is Medinat Israel, the State of Israel with many new undertakings. We are changing our habits. We are supporting the landsleit in Israel, the Histadrut, the United Jewish Appeal, Israel Bonds, Red Magen

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David, an old age home, an orphanage, a hospital for incurable children, a hospital for consumptive old rabbis, and so on and so forth. We never have too much money. When we have more we help more. We also had an English-speaking Steibtz women's branch, But after several years of doing good work for landsleit it was decided that we should unite. The president was Mrs. Beatrice Tunik, Dr. Tunik's wife. They have devoted many years work for Steibtz people.

Now we still exist. The women are growing older, No new members join and we are tormented by the thought that any time such a fine building may collapse. I am happy that fate has played its part so that I, born in America, brought up in Steibtz, returning here with an inheritance from our mothers, grandmothers and aunts who are no longer with us, and knowing that it is a good thing to help to bring a smile, a word of consolation and to provide people with what they need most.

I thank all the women who have worked and who are still working now to make our Steibtz Womens' Organization so big and strong.

How proud we are with the parochet (curtain) which illumines the Holy Ark of our landsleit in Israel in the name of our sister whom we all love so much, Pauline Cohen may she rest in peace.

In the name of all Steibtz women in America, accept our blessings and greetings to all our landsleit in all countries. Our one wish is that we should all meet in good health in our country, in the State of Israel.

 

President's Message

Men of Steibtz, home of my childhood and youth, I was not among you when the Reaper came. My ears never heard the moans of your tortured ones, who are so dear to me, those comrades with whom we went to Heder and play. How could my heart not have broken at your wailing and outcry? From afar I felt the calamity of my people. Steibtz delight of my childhood and youth, it is hard to believe that you were all led as sheep to the slaughter on that bitter day.

12th Tishri, 5702

We are celebrating our Golden Anniversary tonight, our 50 years of existence and we can proudly boast of our record. For during the half century, we have

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A. Perlman, A. Kaplan, J. S. Stillman, G. Harkawy, J. S. Comac
on the occasion of presenting the check for the Housing Unit

helped hundreds of Steibtzer in their hour of need, in this country as well as in other parts of the world.

After World War I we sent a delegation with a large sum of money to help rebuild our town of Steibtz.

After World War II, when Hitler's gangsters destroyed our town, we again helped and are still helping the comparatively few remaining Steibtzer to settle down in whichever place they chose.

We have also done and are still doing our share to help build the life-long hope of the State of Israel. Last year we purchased a unit building in Israel and are endeavouring to purchase additional units.

Beside helping our own, we have participated in the last ten years in helping outside institutions such as U.J.A., Hias, Jewish Congress, Federation of Jewish Philanthropies, Yeshiva University, Red Cross and others.

All in all, I may say, a record that we may be proud of.

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Stelbtz Housing Unit. Ramat-Gan

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All this is due to your great response whenever we asked you for your help. As President of your organization I extend to you my personal thanks as well as the sincere thanks of those who benefited by your generosities. May God repay you all for your good deeds.

Fraternally yours,
Judge George S. Harkavy,
Secretary


Permit me to commemorate those communal workers of Steibtz in America who have passed away during recent years. They are :

Dr. lsidor Tunik; Karl Heiman; Jacob Stillman; and last but by no means least Irving S. Komak, Secretary of our Association.

(The above message is dedicated to the memory of my parents, Shmuel and Mira Ettel Harkavy).  

A Short Report of our Activities

Icheskel Russak

Towards the end of the last War in 1944 when the Allies and Russia began to liberate Europe, some of the Stolpcer landsleit in Johannesburg and Germiston formed a committee to render immediate assistance to the few landsleit that possibly remained alive after the bloodbath of European Jewry. Food and clothing parcels were sent to those we got to hear about. Owing to the unsettled times very few of these parcels reached their destination. The acknowledgments of the few who had received the parcels was our reward.

For about four years we carried on with similar work rendering assistance to those in distress. On the establishment of our Jewish State all our aid was immediately diverted to the Israeli Stolpce Society, who have now established a Synagogue, Helping Hand Society (Gemilut Chesed) and a Library named after our home town Stolpce. We found that the Israeli Society was more capable in dealing with the refugees than we were. On their arrival in Israel the refugees were received with open arms and were helped financially to establish themselves in houses and employment.

Some of the South African landsleit who visited Israel were proud to witness that their financial assistance had not been in vain. Most of the refugees are now well established in their new homeland Israel.

Our aim is not as yet completely fulfilled. We fervently hope that in the near future we shall see the rest of our landsleit coming to Eretz Israel and making Israel their permanent home. We hope to play our part as conscientiously as we have done in the past. May we be spared to see the realization of our goal.

Our compliments go to the leaders and landsleit of the Stolpce Society who have undertaken the task of publishing a permanent memorial in the name of our birth place, “Stolpce”.

With this memorial book we would like to commemorate the names of the few who initially formed the Stolpce Society in Johannesburg.

Jack and Rae Brook:
Berel and Sarah Bernstein
Zisel and Liba Dworetzky
Fima and Bronia Klatzko (Bronia Milcenzon)
Nochum and Judy Melamed (Jehudith Russak)
Basha Milcenzon
Nochum and Liba Malbin
Jankel and Sheinke Naifeld
Hirchel and Anne Neifeld
Solly and Sylvia Per (Sylvia Zuchavitsky)
Minnie Reiser
Aizel Bertha Reiser
Sarah Rabinowitz (Sarah Malbin)
Rev. Yerachmiel Rosovsky
Mordche Mate Rosovsky
Abraham Russak (deceased 14.2.1955)
Pearl Russak Sam and Mary Russak (Sam Rusak - deceased 27.11.1962)
Chatcha and Rose Russak
Sonia Rubin (Milcenson)
Chyenke Segalowitz
Chayim and Luba Shapiro (Luba Russak)
Simon and Gertie Epstein.

 

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