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[Page VII]

General History

 

Foreword

The idea to produce a book about Horodetz had been stirring in the minds of several Horodetz natives for a long time. The enthusiasm for the idea to advertise this small shtetl, in which our cradles had stood, and where we spent our childhood and a part of our youth, would not let them rest. And even while they were getting established in Horodetz they dreamed of such a book, especially when they saw the cultural value which such a book could have for Jewish history.

Horodetz was one of the oldest communities in Russia-Poland. It had survived all types of Jewish martyrology – and still existed!

This small shtetl, Horodetz, was well known as an important community. Thanks to its favorable geographical location she had preserved in herself the caring face of Jewish life. Horodetz had been careful to keep the traditional Jewish spirit in spite of the violent attacks on that spirit. It was saturated with Jewish learning and self-awareness.

All these themes together had awakened in a few Horodetzers the desire to create such a book. But not every idea finds its way into the receptive ears and hearts of those who can make real this idea.

With great regret we came too late, when the Jewish Horodetz no longer existed, when all was destroyed, burned and uprooted by brutal men who were in the world.

May this book, “Horodetz”, serve as a literary memorial to the martyrs who were killed to sanctify the name of God (kiddush ha Shem) and who were not able to be buried in the land of Israel. May the articles which find themselves inside this book be the epic eulogy for those brave and heroic Jews in Horodetz who gave up their lives with honor as humans and Jews.

May this book, “Horodetz”, be a memorial for those people who, for a period of 100 years spun the golden threads of Jewish identity. They have given us the courage and hope to rearrange our lives in strange lands.

May the names of our father and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers be inscribed in our own land, the land for which they dreamed for many long years.

This book, “Horodetz”, will be the bridge which binds our sweet memories to our present situation, a bridge on which we will stride to a new future for our people and our land, Eretz Israel.

[Page VIII]

To conclude, I want to remind you of a few historical facts about the book, “Horodetz”.

In the summer of 1946, when our countryman, Moshe Vinograd, received a query from Buenos Aires, there was already established in the home of a second countryman, Benjamin Shlomo Sussman, a committee to produce such a book. In this committee were the following Horodetzers: Israel Sussman, chairman; Yudl Greenberg, treasurer, Shlomo Podolevsky, recording secretary; Michalah Timanner, corresponding secretary. And in the executive were the following: Moshe Vinograd, (representative in Argentina), David Kaplan and Benjamin Shlomo Sussman. A. Ben Ezra was elected general editor.

After this, the following countrymen were added: Tzvia Greenglass, I. Greblavsky, M. Rubinstein, Rav Shalom Podolevsky, Dr. I.Farber, Naftali Goldberg (representative for the southern states) and Yeshayahu Kastrinsky (representative for Israel).

At the end of Shabbat, September 7, 1946, during a reception for our guest from Argentina in the Horodetz shul, we gave thanks to the writers of the various sections. Israel Sussman collected a fair sum of money to start publishing the book.

I must give special thanks to the Horodetz association, “Yehsuot Yaakov”, who lent a hand to this effort. Also the Ladies auxiliary of the Horodetz association did not stand aside.

A special thanks I must give to our countrymen for their information and especially to Mr. Alter Ellman, Mr. Ezra Kastrinsky, Mr. Asher Kastrinsky, Rav Mordekhai Greenberg, and to Eva Skavolev and to all those whose who donated their spirit and their substance..

Also we must mention with thanks, our countryman, Israel Sussman, the painter, who was also the art editor for “Horodetz”, and the book committee, who brought this book to its completion.

A special appreciation goes also to the rabbi from Kobrin, Rabbi Baruch (descendant of saints), and to the well known folk singer, Moshe Natanson, for the notes to Rabbi Moshe Kobriner's melody to the prayer, “Ya Akhsof”.. Rabbi Kobriner is the founder of the Kobriner dynasty..

And finally, finally, I thank my friend, the Hebrew-Yiddish writer, Shmuel Berenholtz, for his helpful comments.

May this effort be blessed.

10th of Av, Year 1 of the State of Israel, 5709 (August 15, 1948)

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