Book of Kehilat Ostrolenka
Yizkor Book of the Jewish Community of Ostrolenka

(Ostrołęka, Poland)

53°05' / 21°34'

Edited by: Y. Ivri

Published by Irgun Yotzei Ostrolenka in Israel, Tel Aviv, 2009


 

 

Our sincere appreciation to Yehuda Chmiel, of the Ostrolenka Society of Israel,
for permission to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

This the Book of Kehilat Ostrolenka; Yizkor Book of the Jewish Community of Ostrolenka
Published by Irgun Yotzei Ostrolenka [Association of Former Residents of Ostrolenka] in Israel, Tel Aviv, 2009


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BOOK OF KEHILAT OSTROLENKA

 

YIZKOR BOOK OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF OSTROLENKA

PUBLISHED BY IRGUN YOTZEI OSTROLENKA IN ISRAEL

 

2009 TEL-AVIV 5769

Translation: Tzipora Hauser
Typesetting and Graphics: Offset Printing “Reemim”
Special Drawing: Shlomo Margalit

PRINTED IN ISRAEL 2009

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 


Members of the Book Publishing Committee
Ostrolenka during the period between the two World Wars (1914-1939) – map
 
Introduction – Yehuda Chamiel 15
Preface – Yitzhak Ivri 17
With the Book – Chaim Chamiel 19
Introduction by Polish Public Figures in Ostrolenka Today 21
Notes of the Editorial Staff 25
Ostrolenka in Ancient Poland – Balinski and Lipinski 29
Ostrolenka and Its DistrictGeneral Polish Encyclopedia 30
Number of Inhabitants of Ostrolenka and the District 31
A Chapter about the City and the Jews in it – M. Cynowicz 32
Bialystok Region – Waszyotinski – Almanac Warsaw 33
 
The Rabbis of Ostrolenka
M. Cynowicz
Rabbi Jechiel Michel Goldszlag 34
Rabbi Nachman Dawid Hakoen 35
Rabbi Jeszajahu 35
Rabbi Mosze Nachum Jeruzalimski 35
Rabbi Icchak Bursztejn 40
Rabbi Jakow Szlomo Pizman 42
Rabbi Szlomo Irmijahu Grynberg 42
Rabbi Jakow Jehuda Hakoen 43
Rabbi Jossele the Sharp – Netta Grabie 44
Supporters of Torah and Learning in Ostrolenka 45
Ostrolenka and its Vicinity in the Press 47
At the Time of Napoleon's Reign in Ostrolenka 52
The Settlement of the Jews in Ostrolenka – From the Polish, R. Palewski 53
 
City Life
Ostrolenka, Pre-World War I to 1939 57
A Look at the City – Y. I. 59
Between Two Wars – Chaim Chamiel 66
  
Institutions and Organizations
Yeshivas – Y. Ivri 73
    A. Yeshiva or Concentration of Heders 73
    B. Bejt Josef, the Nowardok Yeshiva – Brajna Iglewicz-Majrowicz 74
Bejt Jakow in Ostrolenka – Brajna Iglewicz-Majrowicz 76
The Yavneh School – Yehuda Chamiel 79
Schools in the City 80
Study Halls and Minyanim (Prayer Quorums) – Chaim Drezner 83
The “Kolner” Shtebl – Awiezer Drori (Kupferminc) 85
The Zionist Shtebl – Y. I. 86
The House of the Otwock Chassidim – Y. I. 87
Institutions and Associations – Aron Szperling 90
The Professional Organization – A. L. 91
How the Library Was Founded – Awiezer Drori 91
Linat Tzedek – Yosef Wonszak, Eliezer Ma-Tovu 93
Jewish Doctors – Chaim Drezner 95
The Lives of Tradesmen – Arcie Nowinski 97
Ostrolenka – Economics and Culture – Moshe Kamin 98
Firemen – Awiezer Drori-Kupferminc 100
Jewish Firefighters – A. Szyman 102
Our Teachers ! – Alter Szyman 102
Cantonists in Ostrolenka – A. S. 104
The Porters – A. S. 104
Klezmorim [Jewish Folk Musicians] – Y. I. 105
Theater in Ostrolenka 107
    A. Drama Circles and Guest Appearances 107
    B. Icchak Iwri 113
Our Amateurs' Circle – Welwel Bajuk 114
The HaShomer HaDati Drama Studio – Yehuda Chamiel 116
Ostrolenkans on the Stage – I. Yitzhak 117
 
Federations and Parties
About the Parties in Ostrolenka – Yehuda Yitzhaki (Chomont) 122
The Founding of the General Zionist Organization “HaTikva” – Yosef Wonszak 123
Dates and Personalities in the Zionist-Religious Parties – David Kaspi (Sarniewicz) 124
HaShomer HaDati – Chaim Chamiel 125
About the Pioneering and the Labor Zionist Movement in Ostrolenka – Eliezer Lachowicz 126
The HaShomer HaTzair Movement – Hanan Eisenstein 141
The HaShomer HaTzair Members' Hike to Myszyniec – Shimon Chamiel 145
HaShomer HaTzair as a Scouting Organization in 1921 – Chaim Piaseczny 147
HeChalutz – A. Slazenger 148
HeChalutz in 1932 – Shlomo Zusman 151
Freiheit – Zyskind Lachowicz 154
HaPoel, the Jewish Sports Club – Zyskind Lachowicz 156
The Bund – Yitzhak Kachan 159
The Working Class and the Y.L. Peretz Library – Yisrael-Simcha Chamiel 161
Beitar – Chanoch Chacek 164
My Memories of Beitar – Batya Byszko-Chamiel 166
The Parties in Ostrolenka after World War I – Shalom Margalit 167
 
Personalities and Community Workers
Henach Flakser (1878-1943) – Menachem Flakser 170
Mendel Bialy – Chaim Drezner 170
Mendel Bialy – Moshe Kamin 171
Mendel Bialy – David Kaspi (Sarniewicz) 171
Mosze Aron Kaczor – Shlomo Kaczor 172
Chaim Pinczas Gingold – Y. I. 172
Lejbel Barszcz – Yitzhak Kachan 173
Icel Sojka – Chaim Drezner 174
Zalman Chanoch Gorzelczany – Chaim Drezner 174
Efraim Chmiel – Chaim Drezner 175
Mosze Lejb Skrobacz – Chaim Drezner 176
Pesach Hochberg – Chaim Drezner 177
Mosze Margalit – A Landsman 178
“The Father of Ostrolenkan Youth” – Rachel Sapir (Romani) 179
Mendel Brin – Awiezer Drori-Kupferminc 179
Mendel Gedanken – A. L. 180
Awraham Piaseczny – C. P. 180
 
Homes and People – Memories
Our Home – Chaim Chamiel 185
Episodes of Memories – Chaim Chamiel 189
My Childhood Home – Awiezer-Drori Kupferminc 194
About a Dear Friend – Awiezer-Drori Kupferminc 197
Figures, Memories and Deeds 198
The Home of Reb Welwel Ben-Adam (Benedon) – Awiezer-Drori 200
Motel Cycowicz Despairs of the Revolution and Repents – Awiezer-Drori 201
Upon the Outbreak of World War I – Yosef Finkelsztejn 205
My Memories – Meir Margalit 208
My Ostrolenka – Shimshon Dov Yerushalmi (Jeruzalimski) 214
Our Home – Shalom Margalit 222
In 1937 – Chasia Drori 227
Memories of the Townspeople – Aryeh Liubka Levi 228
A Home in Ostrolenka – Menachem Flakser 230
Our Old Home – Yitzhak Kachan 232
    A. Visiting the Graves of Our Fathers 232
    B. My father, as I knew him 233
Ostrolenka of Long Ago – Rabbi Jakow Hirsz Zimmerman 237
The Ostrolenka That Is No More – Chanoch Gingold 238
 
I Remember…
Y. I.
    A. Our Courtyard 242
    B. One Hundred Explosions in One Day 243
    C. My Grandfather 244
    D. Pania, Kawale, Nawiwaj…! 245
    E. How I “Discovered” the Promenade Park 245
    F. The Ritual Slaughterers Family 246
    G. Note the Quiet 247
The Story of Lewin-Levy Family 248
 
Scholarly and Chassidic Personalities
Mordechaj Iglewicz – Brajna Iglewicz-Majrowicz 249
Naftali-Cwi Iwri – M. Kamin 250
Szmuel Baruch Landau – A. L. 250
Awraham Mlynarzewicz – Moshe Kamin 251
Ben Cyjon Cukrowicz – Moshe Kamin 251
Awraham Lazer Skrobacz – Moshe Kamin 251
Chaim Welwel-Malach – Moshe Kamin 252
Folk Types – Moshe Kamin 252
Zawel the Tailor 252
The Fruit Seller 252
The “Dead” Shoemaker 252
Ostrolenka's Neighborhoods – Shalom Margalit 253
The Way to Mendel Bialy's Sawmill 253
The New Market – the Right Side 253
In Benedon's “Kingdom” 254
Kilinski Street 256
The Old Market (3rd May Square) 257
 
Episodes from Town Life
An Event that Occurred – A Story with a Moral – Frumke Segal-Bogdanowicz 259
From the Party's Doings – Shalom Margalit 260
Memories of Ostrolenka – Zvi Hersz Kachan 261
From the City – Arcie Nowinski 262
How Rabbi Jakow Meir Rakowski Turned Kaczyny into an Official Town – Y. I. – Tzila Rakowski-Carmel 263
 
Ostrolenka Style
Collected, adapted and written by Y. I.
Ostrolenka Style 265
Times in Ostrolenka 268
Ostrolenka's Dialects 269
“Cultural Points” 269
Nicknames and Derogatory Names 270
The Mentally Retarded 271
The Verses of Ostrolenka 272
 
Ostrolenka in the Diaspora
Writers, Artists and Cultural Activists 275
Menachem Flakser 275
Yitzhak Kachan 275
Meir Margalit 276
Dr. Chaim Chamiel 276
Chaim Drezner 277
Mark Rakowski 278
Helen Kajman 278
Yitzhak Ivri 279
 
Ostrolenkans in Israel
The First Pioneers – Motel Tzuker 280
About a Pioneer Family from Czerwin – Yitzhak Gilboa (Frydman) 281
Meir Margalit – An Actor in Israel 282
The Organization – A. Landsman 285
The Elder of the Ostrolenkans in Jerusalem, Rabbi Awraham Szlomo Brum – A. Yitzhak 287
 
Ostrolenkans in the USSR at the Time of World War II
Introduction – Zalman Drezner, Shalom Chamiel 290
A Personal Story – Zalman Drezner 292
A Personal Story – Shalom Chamiel 295
A Personal Story – Chana Friedman 298
 
In Poland
An Award to a Jewish Writer in Poland 300
Rakowski – Always Young – Michael Mirski 301
 
In Australia
Celebration in Honor of Yitzhak Kachan's 50th Birthday 302
Yitzhak Kachan – The “Self Made Man” 303
 
In Argentina
Ostrolenkans in Argentina – Arcie Nowinski 303
 
In Uruguay
Ostrolenkans in Uruguay – Alter Zyman 306
 
In America
Progressive Young Friends of Ostrolenka in America 307
 
Neighboring Towns
A map of Ostrolenka and its environs 308
Kaczyny Memories – Mark Rakowski 309
Zamość – Hone Holcman 313
My Town of Czerwin – Shalom Wiater 314
Wojciechowice – “Cegielnia” – Yehuda Yitzhaki (Chomont) 318
Wojciechowice – “Cegielnia” – Lejbke Jabek 319
Kadzidła – Israel Lewinski 320
Myszyniec 328
My Town – Mosze Blumsztejn 330
 
Chapters of Holocaust and Destruction
Echo – Yisroel Shtern 335
God of Vengeance – Chaim Chamiel 336
On the Brink of the Holocaust – Yehuda Chamiel 339
Our Share in the Crematoria – Arcie Nowinski 348
A Prolonged Journey of Great Suffering – Yitzhak Zohar-Wylozny 349
When the Germans Came – Fajwel Serok 366
The Day of the Expulsion – Chaim Drezner, Bnei Brak 367
Taking the Testimony of Wolf Wisocki, Weiren, 1917 369
Eyewitness Testimonies – Chaya Lis-Wolkowicz 371
Eyewitness Testimonies – Herszel Wolkowicz 374
Eyewitness Testimonies – Zalman Wylozny 375
My Sisters Tell –Hone Holcman 382
Among the Partisans in the Naliboki Forest – Hanan Czernowin 389
Adolescence During the War – Ester Michelson- Choniak 390
Ostrolenkans in the Slonim Ghetto – Bluma Gedanken 397
The Slonim Ghetto – The Final Phase of Its Destruction 408
Our Bunker in the Bialystok Ghetto – Chaya Sojka-Jablonka 417
The Last Laugh of the Children of Ostrolenka – Helen Kajman 419
They Drove Us from the City – Yitzhak Ivri 424
Yisroel Shtern – Menachem Flakser 429
My Brother, Yisroel Shtern – H. Leyvik 433
A Tree in the Ghetto – Rachel Auerbach 434
My Book “Ostrolenka” – Yisroel Shtern 439
From the Poems and Writings of Yisroel Shtern – Collected by Yitzhak Ivri 444
Writers: On Yisroel Shtern 447
Itzik Manger (From a letter to Yitzhak Ivri) 447
Yechiel Hofer 447
When Yisroel Shtern Expired – Binem Heller 449
A Reading by Yisroel Shtern in Ostrolenka – Yitzhak Kachan 450
The Poet Who Remains a Deep Secret – Yitzhak Ivri 452
 
Ostrolenkans Who Fought and Fell for Our Nation and Our Homeland
Dawid Lew – Y. I. 455
Awigdor Kupferminc – A.D. 456
Elchanan Wylozny 456
Mosze Wylozny – Chaim Chamiel 458
Szaczar Finkelsztejn – The Family 459
Parchments of Fire – Rosa Finkelsztejn 460
 
Pesia Szereszewska – Brajna Iglewicz-Majrowicz
Pesia Szereszewska-Nasielski – Brajna Iglewicz-Majrowicz 463
Yehuda Nachshoni 464
“The Princess in the Devils' Den” – A. B. 464
Wisdom of the Survivors – Pesia Szereszewska-Nasielski 465
Pesia Szereszewska-Jazyn – Yosef Barc 469
Pesia Szereszewska-Jazyn – Yosef Shprinzak 470
Pesia Szereszewska, of Blessed Memory – Y. I. 470
Rebbetzin Basia Lea Herzkowicz, May She Rest in Peace 472
Rabbi Chaim Mordechaj Braunrot, of Blessed Memory 474
Reb Israel Mordechaj Lewinski – YIvri 476
Note Grabie 477
 
Ostrolenka Without Jews
The City of My Youth – Mark Rakowski 478
Ostrolenka Today 481
“For the Stone Shall Cry Out of the Wall” – Mark Rakowski 483
Magnified! – Chaim Chamiel 491
The Terrible Memory – Chasia Drori 499
River, If Only You Could Speak! – Esther Eisenstein-Eisenman 500
The Jewish City – Frumke Segal-Bogdanowicz 501
On the Anniversary of the Destruction – Arcie Nowinski 502
I Will Never Forget! – Sara Holcman, Argentina 503
Sparks of Holiness! – Yosef Kalina, Adapted by Yitzhak Ivri 504
I Am Entirely – Yitzhak Ivri 511
The Souls of Our Fathers – Folk Halperin 512
 
In Eternal Memory
Obituaries and Expressions of Remembrance
In Memory of Martyrs and Departed Ones – Chaya Sapir-Szpigelman 515
In the Memory of a Party in Ostrolenka – Yosef Kalina 515
Awraham Mendel Grynberg – G. 517
Chaim Szyman – S. 517
Lea Kosowski – Chana Kupferminc-Zarfati 517
Alter Bonciak – L. 518
Ben Cyjon Pianko – Z. 518
Berel Kopytko – Yitzhak Kachan 518
Israel and Cwija Wonszak – W. 519
Chana Rywka Keller – I. 519
In Memory of the Blachowicz Family – Shoshana Perlman-Blachowicz 524
May God Remember – Rivka and Zyskind Lachower 525
“For He Who Exacts Retribution for Spilled Blood Remembers Them ” – The Lachowicz Family 526
In Memory of the Szperling Family – Aron Szperling 531
In Eternal Remembrance – Yosef Miron 537
The Story of the Teltejbojm Family 540
About the Menachem Frydman Family, May God Avenge Their Blood – Menachem Lachower 542
In Memory of the Eisenstein Family – Hone Eisenstein 543
In Memory of – Shlomo Goldsztein 548
Israel Mojzesz and Leja Lewin – Shlomo Margalit 550
In Memory of My Parents – Moshe Kamin 567
In Eternal Remembrance – Chaya Szperling (née Sapir) 574
Frejdel Flakser – M. Flakser 586
The Gaon, Rabbi Icchak Bursztejn 615
Yizkor – The Jewish Community of Ostrolenka and the Region 616
List of the Martyrs 617
God, Full of Mercy 633
In Conclusion – A Word from the Publishers 634


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