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[Page 371]

Memorial Candles (cont.)

Yehudit, daughter of Mordehai, Berman
Died on 12th of Av
R. Haim Berman
R. Haim Berman and his wife Yehudit

R. Haim Berman had a grey beard and dark skin. He was a scholar, very intelligent and pleasant. He lived a long life and was a quiet man. It seemed as if he was having a silent conversation with the world around him.

During World War I and the disturbing times afterwards any wanderer could find a haven in his home. Such people could rest there from their turbulent times.

R. Haim played the violin. When he was inspired he would play the sad song “Cry Israel” which was popular then among the Jews of Russia. His children received a Hebrew education and the home was infused with Zionism.

An interesting story about him, not known to many people should be related. R. Haim arrived with the Second Aliyah. While in Eretz Israel he built a flour mill in the then Arab town of Ramle. He was lonely in the Arab settlement and he could not participate in the building of the country. Sadly, he returned to the exile of Bendery. He brought some things, notably two dogs, with him as mementos. One dog was called Lifendzi (perhaps based on the Arabic word Effendi).



[Page 372]

Yitzhak Balaban

He was born in 1907 and he was killed in 1942.

In memory of my brother Yitzhak who was a victim of the Holocaust. His grave is unknown.

Yitzhak was more than a brother. Due to circumstances he was also our father and our teacher.

In 1920 a Typhus epidemic swept our town and our father, Pinhas, z”l, died. He left a family of ten souls without any means of income. Yitzhak was only 16 at the time and a high school student and he undertook the job of looking after the family. His mother, Ziporah, was unable to earn a living since she was sickly.

Yitzhak and his oldest sister, Odell, opened a bakery together with a professional baker. He used to walk with two large baskets distributing his wares. When he met a former classmate he would lower his eyes in shame because he had to quit school and stay away from his friends. However, he faithfully fulfilled his duty to his family – the youngest was only 4 years old – until he was drafted by the army.


David, son of Yitzhak, Buckstein

We lovingly called him 'Davidka' because he was beloved by everyone. From early childhood he stood out as person of strong character and a lover of his people. He had a sharp sense of humor and had a gentle soul. He liked to help others and to defend the weak. He was still a high school student in Bendery and a member of Maccabi when he participated in defending young Jews.

Another time, David was ready to defend his honor again, when a Christian student insulted the Jews. Events reached a point where Davidka and that Christian student were prepared to hold a duel on the outskirts of town. However, when friends and relatives found out, they prevented him from having the duel so as to avoid the spilling of blood and a catastrophe. Another time he taught a lesson to two anti-Semitic “badmouthers” – he met them in private and he banged their heads together. He wished to prove that there were consequences to insulting the honor of the Jews.

Davidka was courageous and brave, but he was also gentle and kind-hearted. He is well-remembered by all his friends, to this day.

He died at the age of 20 while studying in Belgium. May his memory be blessed!


[Page 373]

Feiga Balaban

In the meantime, we, the younger brothers and sisters grew up. We studied and acquired trades so that each one of us could be independent and help the family. We are all grateful to Yitzhak for giving us the chance to do it and for guiding us in many ways.

Yitzhak was married in Russia and had a son and a daughter.

In our family, only my sister and I made Aliyah. All the others, including our brother Yitzhak and our sister Odell, were slaughtered in the Holocaust.

May their memories be among those of the living!

Yonah Balaban,
I remember the following:
Members of the family of Pinhas Balaban from Bendery

The father, Pinhas Balaban, was born in 1862 and died in 1920.

The mother, Feiga Balaban, was born in 1866 and died in 1936.


Odell Balaban (Mozgovsky)

The sister, Rachel Balaban-Shuster was born in 1898 and died in 1970.

The sister, Sima Balaban, was born in 1904 and died in 1927.

Slaughtered in the Holocaust:

My brother, Yitzhak Balaban, was born in 1907 and died in 1942.

My brother, Shlomo Balaban, was born in 1909 and died in 1942.

My sister, Odell Balaban-Mozgovsky, was born in 1900 and died in 1941.

Her husband, Idel Mozgovsky, was born in 1892 and died in 1945.

Their son, Pinhas Mozgovsky, was born in 1925 and died in 1944.

Their daughter, Sonia Mozgovsky, was born in 1927 and died in 1942.


[Page 374]

Their daughter, Sima Mozgovsky, was born in 1929 and died in 1942.

Their youngest child, whose name was unknown to us, was the last to die in this family that was gone completely.

May their souls be among the souls of the living among the people of Israel!

Yonah Balaban,
Abram Borsotzky

Abram was born in 1899 in Bendery. His parents dealt in commerce and agriculture and were wealthy. He made Aliyah in 1920 with a group of the first pioneers of the Third Aliyah.

In Eretz Israel he did hard labor. He participated in the taming of the Jezreel Valley and was among the founders of Kibbutz Tel-Yosef. He worked in paving roads and the drying of marshes. He became ill with malaria as a result.

After he left the kibbutz he settled in Afula and was one of the first postal workers during the British Mandate. He took part in the laying of the telephone line connecting Haifa and Afula and reached the level of inspector – one of the first Jews to do so.

During the battle for Haifa he was one of the defenders of the telephone exchange in Burj, in the lower town.

He remained an employee of the post office to the end of his days and was noted for his dedication to his job and for his gentleness and honesty. He was a member of the Labor Party and was a follower of its tenets.

May his memory be blessed!

His daughter,


In memory of our brother-in-law Arieh,
son of Pinhas, Bendersky

Arieh Bendersky was born on 13.5.1908. He had a pleasant disposition and was always happy. He was well-liked and everyone called him “Leib”.

His large family was true to the Zionist dream and he absorbed a great love of Israel and Zion. Leib was a proud Jew and could not accept the attacks on the Jews by the Christians. This belief brought him to join Maccabi and he became a counsellor in the movement.

He was a devout Zionist and he believed that only if the Jewish people would return to physical labor would they be able to build a homeland.


[Page 375]

Contd. from previous page

He studied in ORT School in order to be able to be useful in Eretz Israel.

In 1935 he made Aliyah as part of the first Maccabia where he represented his town. Here he started a family and built a hospitable home. He was a nice person and this fact brought him many friends and acquaintances. He was a modest man all his life. He joined the Haganah and fulfilled his tasks properly.

He died at work on 19.4.71 and left behind his wife Dossia and his orphaned daughters to mourn him.

Told by his brother-in-law Eliezer and Fira Kishon
And written by P. Bendersky


Members of the Bendersky Family

Very few have remained from my large family in Bendery- only those who managed to make Aliyah. The others died in the Nazi Holocaust or by the Soviets when accused of being bourgeois.

My family was one of the leading followers of the Zionist movement – one of them was Dr. Shlomo Bendersky.

My late father, Zeev Bendersky, always wished to make Aliyah and he succeeded in the late 1920s. He first sent my oldest brother as a pioneer with the Third Aliyah. My father died in Eretz Israel on the 22nd day of Sivan 1954 and my mother died on the 29th day of Kislev 1962. They were both buried in the cemetery in Haifa. My father`s parents, Rabbi Yehiel-Moshe Bendersky and my grandmother Manya died in old age in Bendery. My mother`s father died in Safed in 1915.

Zeev and Leah Bendersky
My grandfather Yehiel-Moshe, my grandmother
Manya and my aunt Nessya Bendersky


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