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[Page 148]

HeChalutz

In the beginning of the '20s, HeChalutz was founded in Ostrolenka. Its first location was on the Lomza Road, at Walc, in a former factory. Members of the first leadership were Mosze Litwer (Chairman), Jechiel Szafran (Culture), Awraham Slazenger (Treasurer and Accountant) and Ester Izrael. Dawid Lew joined the second leadership.

 

ost148.jpg
The HeChalutz leadership

From the right, seated: Mosze Litwer, Ester Israel, Awraham Szlezynger; From the right, standing: Jechiel Szafran, Dawid Lew

 

The first HeChalutz members were Mosze Aron Sojka, Szlomo Benedon, Hersz Leszcz, Welwel Gedanken, Jechiel Szafran, Chana Kupferminc, Eli Bajuk, Awigdor Kupferminc, Grosman, Awraham Slazenger, Hercke Sojka, Chaja Gutman, Ben Zion Pianko, Josef Aron Leszcz and others. It should be noted that the following were very active in founding HeChalutz and strengthening its ranks in our city: the Secretaries of the Central Committee from Warsaw, H. Funt and Mr. Raszisz, and in the beginning, the wellknown writer and Zionist community worker Josef Haftman, of blessed memory. They revived this Zionist youth movement. Our HeChalutz kept in close contact with the first two mentioned.

HeChalutz participated vigorously in all Zionist activity. It members were represented in every local Zionist committee, such as Keren Kayemeth, the Committee for a Working Land of Israel, the Jewish Agency, Keren HaYesod, etc. HeChalutz sent young members to hachshara in villages and on farms to work the land, with the goal of preparing them for life in Israel.

In 1925, a group of members, among them Dawid Lew and others, went to hachshara at Kibbutz Yosef HaGalili, near Szczuczyna, organized by the Lomza HeChalutz group.

[Page 149]

ost149a.jpg
The HeChalutz leadership in 1922 with the Member
from (the Central Committee) in Warsaw

H. Funt (3rd from the right, standing) and Pesach Hochberg (2nd from the right, standing)

 

It was not easy for the HeChalutz Central Committee to allocate the certificates it received, even among members who excelled at hachshara. Among Ostrolenka's members, Meir Margalit and a few others received their certificates.

As is known, HeChalutz was a non-partisan movement. It was influenced, however, by the leftist Zionist parties, although among them were HeChalutz founders and members who favored the General Zionists. As time passed, the HeChalutz Central Committee also founded the HeChalutz General faction.

In 1924, HeChalutz of Ostrolenka moved to a new location at the General Zionists, in Leszczinski's home on Lomza Street.

A. Slazenger, Tel Aviv

 

ost149b.jpg
At the HeChalutz conference in Nowogrod

 

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The first members of HeChalutz

 

ost149d.jpg
Dawid Lew in the center, with friends (last from the right: Awigdor Eisenstein)

 

[Page 150]

 

ost150a.jpg
A group of pioneers from different towns at hachshara in Bialaszewa (a village near Szczuczyna)

Among them HeChalutz members from Ostrolenka, such as Dawid Lew, Awigdor Eisenstein, Awrejmel Slazenger, Eliezer Lachowicz, Segal, Lewkowicz, Perkal, Zylbersztejn

 

ost150b.jpg
A “Flower Day” for HeChalutz with Pesach Hochberg

 

ost150c.jpg
“Give land to a Jewish pioneer” – a “Flower Day” in 1922 with Icchak Rapaport
(in the center), the Chairman of the General Zionist party in Ostrolenka, HaTikva

 

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