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“YIZKOR”. Remember.

Among my earliest memories is going to a Sunday afternoon meeting of the “organization” to which my father, Sol Neuringer, belonged. The organization was the Ershte Borszczower K. U. V. of New York. In later years I came to understand that the members of this group were either born in a small eastern Galician shtetl named Borchov, or were descended from someone who was. The monthly meetings were held in a building on West 44th Street in Manhattan that was built expressly to rent rooms to similar groups. The rectangular rooms were designed to replicate a miniature parliament with rows of seats along the longer sides and larger leather arm chairs on the shorter sides where the executive members sat and conducted the meetings.

I knew Borchov was in Poland, that my grandfather, Levi, father, and Uncle Irving were born there, that my Grandmother Clara had remained there and that my father visited her in 1933, vainly trying to convince her to leave and emigrate to the U.S. I knew that she perished sometime during World War II, Both my brother, Clark, and cousin Karen are named in her memory.

In 1960 a group of Borchovers living in Israel published a Yizkor Book, “Sefer Borszczow,” written in Yiddish and Hebrew. Since I am not able to read either language I was not able to read the text, but wanted to have a copy anyway, as pictures of both my father and grandfather were included in the book.

“Sefer Borszczow” languished on the bookshelf, its story hidden from me. But I was curious about its contents. Finally, in January, 2001 I began to have its secrets revealed by enlisting Miriam Beckerman to translate sections of it. For weeks I would go to her apartment with book, tape recorder and notepad in hand.

After each session I would return home and transcribe the tapes onto the computer. But Miriam did more than merely translate words. Her background knowledge of Yiddish literature and the life and customs of eastern European Jewry greatly expanded and enriched my understanding of the text.

Once the “raw” translation of each section was completed, I edited the text, sometimes rearranging the order of the narrative so that it would read smoothly, with greater clarity and cohesion. I am grateful for the assistance and red pencil my husband, Ed Levy, brought to the project. I did not have the entire book translated however, because of time and monetary constraints.

This would never have appeared in book form without the help of my dear friend Judy Berkun who volunteered to do the layout, graphic design and printing.

The original book was written by different contributors and edited by Nachman BlumenthaI. I tried to keep to the individual writing styles as much as possible; some of the contributors'comments are poetic and poignant and I have attempted to maintain this. I take full responsibility for any inaccuracies and distortions that may have occurred as a result of this process.

There are variant spellings of Borschov, depending upon the period under discussion and who was governing the area at that time. Thus “Borszczow,” “Borshchov,” “Borchoff,” or “Borchov.” I've chosen the last spelling for simplicity both in spelling and pronunciation.

Where there are parentheses ( ), these were in the original Yiddish or Hebrew text. However, I've occasionally added information to clarify or expand understanding and have placed this between brackets [ ].

This translation was initially done to satisfy my own curiosity, but it's also for my children, grandchildren, extended family and all those interested in the life and times of this community.

Myrna Neuringer Levy,
May, 2005

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