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[Page 245]

The Establishment of
“Beitar He–Halutz”

 

In the spring of 1931 Beitar decided to leave the General He–Halutz and to start the National He–Halutz which later became the Beitar He–Halutz. It took advantage of the Pessah holiday to start a separate parallel fundraising campaign.

[Page 246]

This decision created a lot of conflict between the organizations and damaged the traditional fundraising campaigns. In 1930 the fund reached 249,617 lei, while in 1931 it dropped to 206,169 Lei.

 

The He–Halutz Week fundraiser proceeds on Pessah 5690 (1930)[1] by localities

Beltz 33,655 Zguritza 3,490 Poiana 655
Kishinev 23,488 Ismail 3,474 Bravitza 582
Khotin 16,395 Tarutina 3,341 Trupeshti 541
Orgheiev 13,560 Rezina 3,010 Tuzla 420
Akkerman 8,643 Vertujeni 2,953 Neporotova 414
Romanovka 7,830 Bricheni 2,805 Pereval 410
Chadir–Lunga 7,630 Reni 2,736 Ozineshti 403
Kaushani 7,033 Sculeni 2,705 Vladicheni 380
Edinitz 6,505 Soroca 2,700 Volontirovka 362
Leova 5,962 Marculeshti 2,515 Vladeni 300
Novoselitza 5,406 Chimshilia 2,130 Criuleni 200
Sikureni 5,282 Ungheni 1,760 Peresechina 114
Teleneshti 5,000 Bairamcea 1,610 Hashdeu 100
Lipcani 4,900 Tatarbunar 1,500 Puchineshti 95
Bender 4,870 Kahul 1,500 Dishkova 70
Kiliya 4,866 Dumbraveni 1,260    
Capreshti 3,956 Floreshti 1,200    
Ataki 3,788 Bricheni 1,100    
Faleshti 3,730 Vadul Rashcov 1,000    
Bolgrad 3,750 Parlitz 933    
Total: 224,847 Lei

[Page 247]

In Bessarabia the proceeds were 161,609 Lei, in Bucovina –10,900 Lei and in Regat (Romania) 33,660 Lei while the Beitar fundraising champagne raised 44,651 in Bessarabia alone.[2]

After the Beitar split from He–Halutz, in the summer of 1931, there were 42 members left (34 in factories in Jassy and 8 in Beltz) compared to 350 members of the General He–Halutz as reported by the National Office in Bucharest on 5 July, 1931.

 

Financial difficulties of the training farms

In order to ease the financial difficulties of the Massada farm, a professional was hired to run the farm. He decided to pay 13 Lei per day to 16 people in the winter and 20 Lei per day to 50 people in the summer. These measures curbed the cultural and educational activities and caused a lot of unhappiness among the trainees.

The Jassy farm hired a professional manager who worked as a volunteer and hired an instructor at minimal wage. The trainees received 40 lei per day in the winter and 30 Lei per day in the summer. All plans for expansion were cancelled, but at the end of the year the farm had a 50,000 Lei gain.

The financial situation of Massada improved in the summer of 1932 when the Government passed the “Conversion Law” and made it possible for the farmers to postpone loan payments or repay them with no interest over long periods. Despite these measures, Massada had to give up 20–30 hectares, hire the halutzim to work for minimum wages and sell the produce cheaply. In 1946 Massada gave up all its lands.

[Page 248]

The Eleventh Council [3]

This Council took place on 7–8 Sivan 5692 (11–12 June 1932) in Kishinev in a very gloomy atmosphere. The Council took the following decision:

  1. To form urban halutzim branches
  2. To increase the cultural educational work
  3. To move the He–Halutz Centre to Bucharest
Despite the harsh criticism, the Centre moved to Bucharest on September 1932.

The Council draw written by–laws[4] to replace to “oral tradition” in the organization.

 

Absorption of the Immigrants

The following list, signed off by Dov Frank and Yeshayahu Volvitch from 9 September 1932, shows the He–Halutz immigrants and their settlement locations from April to September 1932.

[Page 249]

Gordonia Aleph and the Group Bet core in Hedera

Otchitel, Shimon
Moscovich, Yacov
Herahk, BenZion
Parnes, Shimon
Rosenthal, Issachar
Bitzutzky, Eliyahu
Hkrein, Nachman
Kushnir, Yehoshuah
Tartakovsky, Moshe
Levit, Gedaliyahu
Hershcovich, Feivel
Reiger, Mendel
Moscovich, Moshe
Dondoshansky, David
Tzukerman, Mordechai
Gordenberg, Mordechai
Fikman, Sheba
Weinberg, Sarah
Kaglesky, Nechama
Shneierman, Sarah
Balaban, Sheba
Roizman, Sheba
Cohen, Rachel
Turkanitz, Ahuva
Schwartzman, Braina
Treigerman, Yenta
Licht, Clara
Cohen, Rivka
Krasilechik, Liuba
Berger, Leah

Core of the Shomer Ha–Tzair Kibbutz in Haifa

Hoichman, Moshe
Roizman, Yacob
Gershtein, Yitzchak
Khacham, Zalma
Grinshpun, Levi
Cohen, Leib
Mikilovich, Moshe
Goldental, Sami
Yitzick, Strul
Weisbuch, Mendel
Hirsh, Ariyeh
Bert, Gitel
Bruker, Moshe
Blumenfeld, Toni
Sevuvulsky, Gitiya
Shvidkei, Yona
Yanover, Penina
Landoi, Batya
Moshkovitzen, Busiya
Averbuch, Gitiya

Shomer Ha–Tzair Kibbutz in Magdiel

Radolinsky, Moshe
Loibman, Joseph
Greenberg, Tzwi
Goldshtein, Yona
Rabinovich, Shuli
Wolf, Ariyes
Goberman, Daniel
Feingoletz, Sarah
Segal, Fety
Reznik, Mirel
Roitshtein, Deborah
Kushnir, Mendel
Axelrod
Roitshtein, Sonia
Schechter, Tzwi

Shomer Ha–Tzair Group Gimel in Haifa

Horvitz, Matatiyahu
Retter, Abraham
Retter, Miriam

[Page 250]

Place of absorption unknown

Sodek, Tzalik
Gnikhovich, Schniur
Moginshtein, Abraham
Goldenberg, Shaul
Reznik, Israel
Frank, Gitiya
Krasilchik, Malcha
Leiderman, Shifra
Tulchinsky

 

Intensification of the Aliyah

The increase in the “Schedule” for immigration permits at the beginning of 5693 (1933) (October 1932–March 1933) came as great news for the He–Halutz organization at a time when immigration to Eretz Israel was an escape from the rising anti–Semitism in Romania. It became clear that the training can't be diminished at this moment. After the summer seasonal work on the fields and in the vineyards finished, He–Halutz organized urban working groups in various factories. This saved the youth from being idle and also gave them a good income such as 50–80 Lei per hour in factories in Beltz. In Galatz they received work in factories and in the port and the community and the Friends of He–Halutz collected money to set up a training farm (it set up only in 1935). For the first time, a training group was organized in Transylvania in a factory in Targul Mures and the trainees were promised permanent work for the entire year. This group organized 25 people from the Shomer Ha–Tzair for Group Aliyah 2. In the spring of 1934 more than 1,000 people waiting for immigration were placed in training.[5]

In the spring of 1934 the group “Brissiyah” of college youth from Transylvania joined He–Halutz and for the first time He–Halutz set up a special training group for Tzeirei Zion in Yenautz in Bessarabia.

Maccabi in Bessarabia was successful in strengthening its ties with the rest of the country's Maccabi and secured training placements for its members. Influenced by this growth, the members of “Dror” became eager to participate in training.

In the spring training season 1,600 joined He–Halutz. Despite being short of staff since 1933, He–Halutz managed to place 1,000 people and by July 1933 the number of trainees reached 1,532 (organized in 46 groups). By harvest season the numbers grew even more.

From the beginning the organization of the training groups was based on the members' affiliation with the objective being group immigration. This is the first time in the history of the He–Halutz in Romania that the training has achieved such a big outreach. He–Atid (The Future), issue 45 of 28 Av 5693 (1933) published this table:

Ha–Shomer Ha–Tzair 432 members
Gordonia 396 members
Maccabi 240 members
Non–Affiliated[6] 237 members
Poalei Zion[7] 168 members
Brissiyah 47 members
Tzeirei Zion 12 members
Total 1,532 members

Placement of the halutzim:  
Independent farms (Massada, Jassy) 64 members
Permanent training groups 118 members
Seasonal training groups 1,350 members

The following figures show the development of the Halutz movement in Romania:

[Page 252]

To: 15 October 1927 496 members
To: 15 September 1930 3,932 members[8]
To: 15 July 1933 8,200 members[9]

The number of trainees in Romania grew mainly at the end of the summer during harvest time in the orchards and vineyards. The numbers at the end of September 1933 shown in the table below were used in the “Schedule” for the immigration permits.[10]

100.0
  Groups Halutzim Percentage
General He–Halutz 55 2,282 65.0
He–Halutz Clal Zioni 10 422 12.0
He–Halutz Mizrachi 14 311 9.0
Beitar 7 288 8.0
Halutzei Agudat Israel 4 139 4.0
He–Halutz Ha–Medinati 2 54 2.0
Total 92 3,496

[Page 253]

The distribution of permits from the “Schedule” of April–September 1934 was made according to the results from the summer before. This table shows the distribution of the 195 permits according to affiliation:

  Permits Percentage
General He–Halutz 128 65.64
He–Halutz Clal–Zioni 23 11.80
He–Halutz Mizrachi 17 8.70
Beitar[11] 14 7.20
He–Halutz Agudati 8 4.10
He–Halutz Hamedinati 5 2,56
Total 195 100.00

The growth in training changed the geographical composition of the membership. In 5691(1931), 60% of the trainees were from Bessarabia, but in the spring of 5693 (1933) the percentage dropped to 50%[12] and in the summer of 1933 it reached only 40%.[13] There are no numbers regarding the halutzim from Bucovina, the Regat and Transylvania.

[Page 254]

The Immigration certificates (permits) and Beitar

Beitar did not approve of the method of distribution of immigration permits according to membership numbers in each group. During the distribution of the certificates from the 1933 “Schedule”in Bucharest, the Beitar delegation stormed out in protest from the meeting with the director of the Immigration Department, H. Barlas. They also protested at the offices of the He–Halutz Centre in Bucharest, at the Gordonia office in, at the Shomer Ha–Tzair office in Jassy and even turned to violence, destroying furniture and documents.[14]

The conflict continued during the “He–Halutz Week” over the Pessah holiday in 1934 when the Bender branch of Beitar published a very malicious pamphlet which upset the entire Jewish community. Further to that, on October 1933, Beitar issued a secret order forbidding its members from using the permits issued directly by the government. Beitar preferred to distribute the permits by itself and did not answer the calls from the Jewish Agency to cooperate and cancel the order that undermined the position of the Agency with the Mandatory Government.

The Agency was forced to reverse the rights of Beitar to receive the group immigration permits and decided that permits will be given to individuals if they graduated from the training.

The reaction of Beitar's membership to this decision was reported at the Zionist Congress of 5697 (1937). In the summer of 1938, Beitar's executive, A. Profess, tried to negotiate a remedy to this problem and came to an arrangement with the Headquarters in Bucharest:

  1. To transfer the Beitar training under the management of the headquarters in Buchares
  2. To distribute the permits collectively in the presence of a Beitar leader
  3. To dismiss the Beitar members who participated in the disturbances[15]

The Seventh Congress

Before the Congress the factions organized the candidate lists and alliances. Gordonia ran on the same ticket with Tzeirei Zion, Ha–Shomer Ha–Tzair, Poalei Zion and Maccabi.[16]

The Congress was scheduled to take place on 13 December, 1933, but

[Page 256]

in the evening of the opening the Prime Minister of Romania, Duca was assassinated and the opening was cancelled. A new permit was obtained in Kishinev for the 3–5 January 1934, but only for half days.

When the numerical equality was achieved by Gordonia and Shomer Ha–Tzair within the He–Halutz the following resolutions were approved:[17]

  1. To preserve the base for the He–Halutz education and its avant–garde character
  2. To prevent outside forces from penetrating the movement and to ensure the quality of education and its pioneer character
  3. To facilitate the expansion of the organizational basis and to preserve its educational values and its future in Eretz Israel
This agreement hoped to eliminate the fights among the factions and to prevent the infiltration of elements opposed to the He–Halutz vision.

Among the participants were: Zeev Feinshtein (Shefer) from the International Centre of He–Halutz, I. Reznichenku (Araz), and the representatives from Eretz Israel – Ben Zion Gafni, Itzchack Givoni, Moshe Horowitz, Aharon Cohen, Zeev Meshi and Menachem Shadmi.

[Page 256a]

bes256a.jpg
Photograph no. 86: Gordonia Executive with Pinchas Lubianiker (Levanon) and Michael Oved (Eretz Israel), Kishinev, 1930/31

 

bes256b.jpg
Photograph no. 87: First Gordonia Executive in Romania, Kishinev, 5695 (January 1935)

From right to left sitting: Shmuel Kushnir, Dov Pertmuter, Elkana Margalit, Menachem Rolel, Tzwi Yotam
Standing: Tzwi Butnik, Sheftel Tzukerman (Naamani), Meier Zaitz (Zait), Tzwi Pinkenzon (Gershoni) D. Haimovich

 

bes256c.jpg
Photograph no. 88: P. Lubianiker (Levanon) with the members of the Beltz Branch of Tzeirei Zion Executive, 1930/31

From right to left sitting: Krasiuk, Akiva Greenberg, P. Levon, M. Oved, B. Milgrom, Standing: David Beit– Din, Yaffe, Aharon Krasiuk, Advocate Gendler, Tzwi Akerman (Ekroni)

 

bes256d.jpg
Photograph no. 89: Members of Massada Training Farm on Balfour Declaration Day, 2 November 1934

[Page 256b]

bes256e.jpg
Photograph no. 90: The Executive of He–Halutz Romania, Kishinev March 1930

From right to left sitting: Dov Shafrir, Shimshon Shechter, Zeev Meshi, Zeev Bloch, Standing: I. Kaplan, Sincha Barski, Abraham Bronshtein, M. Shoshani, Schreibman, Joseph Finkelshtein

 

bes256f.jpg
Photograph no. 91: The Executive of He–Halutz Romania elected at the Eight Congress. Kishinev, January 1934

From right to left sitting: Aharon Cohen, M. Gafni, Zeev Meshi, Zeev Shafer, Yitzchak Givoni, Moshe Horovitz (from Eretz Israel)
Standing: Yacov Sharf, Joseph Shitz (Magen) Tzwi Pinkenzon (Gershoni), Simcha Linder, Chana Shdemi, Z. Chiut, Menachem Shdemi (representative), Z. Maimon, Unknown, Moshe Gertzberg

 

bes256g.jpg
Photograph no. 92: Shomer Ha–Tzair main defence team in Romania, 1933

From right to left: Grisha Leivant (Tzwi Lavie), Tzwi Schwartzman (Shahori), I. Givoni, Moniya Rotshtein, David Solomon (Hadeni), Nusiya Friedel (Natan Peled)

 

bes256h.jpg
Photograph no. 93: The Executive of the Pioneer Union of Poalei–Zion, 1934

From right to left sitting: Joseph Shinder, Joseph Shitz (Magen), H. Goldman, Israel Samt, Buziya Baruch Lemberg
Standing: Fuks, Mordechai Faierman (Rashpi), Shechter

[Page 256c]

bes256i.jpg
Photograph no. 94: Meeting of Poalei Zion, Ha–Oved and Dror, Orgheiev, 1926

From bottom to top from right to left sitting: I. Portnoi, Unknown, Shteinshluger, M. Buzinian, Gandelman, Sh. Lichtman, Dushker
Second row, sitting: I. Sofer, M. Portnoi, I. Kiprenky, I. Weisman, B. Lemberg, D. Munder, S. Buzinian, H. Portnoi, Unknown
Third row, standing: Unknown, L. Meizler, 2 Unknowns
Upper row: I. Kolik, Unknown, A. Balan, LIkudriatz, S. Fudman, Ab. Portnoi, Shteinshluger, Pilersky, S. Hanenis, B. Buzinian
(From the book: D. Sinai Orgheiev be–bnina ve–hurbana, (Orgheiev, its Building and Destruction, Tel Aviv, 5719, 1959)

 

bes256j.jpg
Photograph no. 95: The Executive of the Brith Halutzi (Pioneer Union) of the Poalei Zion in Romania, 24 September 1933

 

bes256k.jpg
Photograph no. 96: A training group of the Brith Halutzi (Pioneer Union) of the Poalei Zion, 1934

[Page 256d]

bes256l.jpg
Photograph no. 97: First training group of the Torah ve–Avoda (Torah and Work),
He–Haluth Tzeirei Mizrachi, Romania, Camina, 5690, 1931

Second row, middle from left to right, sitting: 1. Ben–Zion Vilkir, 2. Unknown, 3. Hanoch Yorev , 4. Meshulam Kamin, 5. Rozenthal, 6–7. Unknown
First row top, 5th in the middle: Aharon Weisman

 

bes256m.jpg
Photograph no. 98: Second training group of Tzeirei Mizrachi in Romania, 5692 (1932)

 

bes256n.jpg
Photograph no. 99: A farewell party of the Tzeirei Mizrachi for the young immigrants, 5692 (1932)

From bottom to top: First row, from right to left: 1. Chaim Boyer, 2. Ben–Zion Vilkir, 3. Unknown, 4. Joseph Lutvak, 5. Hanoch Yorev, 6. Joseph Appel, 7. Unknown, 8. Ytzchack Volonov, 9. Shapira
Second row: 1. Unknown. 2. Israel Schechter, 3. David Katz, 4. Israel Zinger, 5. Rabbi Baruch Hager, 6. Abraham Boyer, 7. Simcha Smoliar, 8. Abraham Kopelman

 

Footnotes:

  1. Undzer Tzeit, Kishinev, issue 2560, 26 march 1931 Return
  2. Beitar He–Halutz, Bulletin, Pessah, 5692 (1932) Kishinev Return
  3. Alim (Leaves), no.4 April–May 1932 and in no. 5 June 1932 – Council is numbered in error with number 9. The correct number is Council Eleven Return
  4. See Appendix [Pages 343–349] for the entire text of the By–Laws Return
  5. Ha–Atid (The Future) issue 140, Shvat 5693 (1933) “Training in Romania” signed M. Return
  6. Non Affiliated – Zionist youth not affiliated with a political party Return
  7. Dror might have been in this group Return
  8. The growth is due to the establishment of Training Preparation Groups Return
  9. The growth due to the establishment of the urban training groups Return
  10. The decision of the Central Eretz Israel Committee in Bucharest, November 1933: Report of the Immigration Department of 30 august 1934 Return
  11. 19 members (men and women) immigrated 14 months earlier. They were the third Beitar group to leave Romania on 13 October from Constantza. (Ha–Yarden (The Jordan), no. 2, Bucharest, Heshvan 5695, October 1934) Return
  12. Ha–Atid (The Future), issue 133–134, 26 Sivan, 5692 (1932) by Peretz Salpeter Return
  13. From this date there was no decline in the number of Bessarabia natives as can be seen in the immigration lists in the reports from the 10th, 11th and 12th Councils (1936, 1938, 1939) and from A. Cohen's book “On Bessarabia Land”, vol. 3, Tel Aviv, 5723 (1963), p. 271. From 226 Shomer Ha–Tzair and Bnei Avodah in 1934 and 1935, only 91 were from Bessarabia (40%). From 62 immigrants in 1936 and 1937 41 were from Bessarabia (66%) and from 78 immigrants in 1937/38 32 were from Bessarabia (41%). No information exists about the members of Gordonia, Busliyah and Tzeirei Zion. Return
  14. Ha–Atid (The Future), Warsaw, issue 1939, 1 Tevet 5693 (1933) Return
  15. Letter from the Bucharest office to the Immigration Department in Jerusalem, 11 August 1938 Return
  16. At the head of the Gordonia list were: Al. Margolit, M. Gertzberg, M. Zaitz (Zait), Tz. Pinkenzon (Gershoni), B. Schwartzman (Shorer), Sh. Kushnir, I. Yakir, K. Zager, Gluzman. The Shomer Ha–Tzair list: Sh. Dorfman, Yacov Sherf, M. Brezin, B. Shtutman, (Shatil), L. Idelshtein (Abram), Otto Shalmon, Schwartzman. Poalei Zion: I. Shitz (Magen), Sameth, Maccabi: Israel Trachtenberg (Dan), Zomer Maimon, Goldshtein Return
  17. The copy of the Resolution which was signed on 5 January is kept at the Shomer Ha–Tzair Archive in Merchavia. The following signed for the Shomer Ha–Tzair: M. Brezin, Tz. Dorfman, A. Cohen, H. Zigmund, M. Shadmi, D. Salomon, I. Sherf. For Gordonia: M. Horowitz, Al. Margalit, M. Gratzber, M. Zait, Sh. Kushnir, Tz. Pinkenzon (Gershoni), Sh. Zukerman, and B. Schwartzman Return

 

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