Memorial Book: Brichany:
Its Jewry in the first half of our century
(Briceni, Moldova)

48°22' / 27°06'

Translation of
Britshan: Britsheni ha-yehudit be-mahatsit
ha-mea ha-aharona

Edited by Yaakov Amizur , Former residents of Brichany

Published in Tel Aviv 1964 (H, 296 pages)




Roberta Jaffer

Carol Monosson Edan (emerita), Carla Brauer-Lalezari (emerita)


This is a translation from: Britshan: Britsheni ha-yehudit be-mahatsit ha-mea ha-aharona
Brichany: its Jewry in the first half of our century,
Editors: Ya-akov Amizur, Tel Aviv, Former residents of Brichany, 1964 (H, 296 pages)

Note: The original book can be seen online at the NY Public Library site: Bricheni

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* *

Translated by Yocheved Klausner

After hard work and many difficulties, we present the book to the former residents of our town. We do not claim that we produced a perfect work; two factors have to be considered:
  1. We are not professional writers. However, we wanted that the book be written by our own townspeople and not by strangers, even if they are professionals.
  2. We did not have certificates and documents, minutes and records, which could serve as historical material; we relied mostly on what was told us or written – all from memory. We worked hard to examine the facts in order to ensure accuracy. We do not ignore the fact that the book is probably deficient, but this is due to the small amount of material that we have received, and we could not postpone publishing any longer.

Yet we are thankful that we brought our work to completion and we hope that it will become a living monument to our town that is now in ruins, to its people and its institutions – all that is not anymore.

The writer K. A. Bertini helped us with arranging the material and editing, and we thank him for that.

Some of the people that wrote articles for our book or that are mentioned in it passed away in the meantime.

May their memory be blessed!

The Editorial Board


Translated by Yocheved Klausner

Title Author Page
Briceni Map
Chapter 1
The public Life - Associations and Institutions 1-28
The Communal Life – The “Association” Yakov Amitzur–Steinhaus 3
The Society (“Farein”) Yakov Amitzur–Steinhaus 5
The Jewish Community (HaKehila) Yakov Amitzur–Steinhaus 7
The Home for the Aged Shmuel Khorish 16
How The Jews of Our Town Lived Yakov Amitzur–Steinhaus 22
Chapter 2
Zionism and Youth Movements 29-66
The Zionist Organization Y. Amitzur 31
The Maccabi Organization Michael Tcherkis–Amitz 43
Memories of The Maccabi Years Reuven Khorish 48
Days of Changes and Turmoil Aharon Cohen 48
The Philip Vasilevitch School   50
The “Shoef” Society   52
Competition: “Hahaver” Society   53
Hashomer Hatzair Aharon Cohen 54
Hatehiya in The Years 1924 – 1928 M. Amitz 57
Memories of the Youth Movements Zvi Shchori–Shvartzman 60
Gordonia Dvora Beinishes (Fischer) 62
Our Hachshara (training) Group Arye Bary 64
Chapter 3
Education and Culture 68-98
Hebrew Education in Our Town Y.E. 69
The New And Old Talmud Torah Y. E. 78
The High School – Gymnasia M. Amitz 84
Memories From High School – Gymnasia Dina Fuchs 87
The Vocational School Josef Horowitz 88
The School of Commerce Nesia Goldberg–Rabinowitz 89
The Cultural Life - Institutions and Organizations Y. Amitzur 91
The Zionist Library Josef Horowitz 98
Chapter 4
Personalities 99-126
Y. L. Bershevski Yakov A. 101
Rabbi Moshe Gevelder Y. A. 103
Rabbi Shimshon Efrati Shlomo Weissberg 104
Avraham Goldgal Baruch Katmafaz 105
Klara (Sarah) Lankovski Y. K. 106
Yehoshua-Isaac Ber”g Israel Avner B. 107
Moshe Vizaltir Y. E. 108
Yosef-Leib Schiller Mordechai Axelrod 109
Natan Lerner Yosef 110
Yehoshua Kahat Dvora Sapir (Haramati) 111
Aharon Steinhaus Yakov 112
Yechiel Tcherkis Y. E. 114
Shalom and Keila Kilimnik Y. E. 115
Ben-Zion (Beni) Melechsohn Y. E. 115
Benyamin Bitzius Y. E. 116
Mordechai Schneider Y. E. 117
Yosef Feldsher Y. E. 118
Peretz Grinberg Y. E. 118
Shabtai (Sioma) Bookshpon Michael Amitz-Tcherkis 119
Ephraim Tchak Y. E. 120
Baruch Yakir Y. E 121
Fania Khorish M. A. 122
Moshe Zilber, May He Rest in Peace   123
Moshe Tsam Y. E. 124
R' Shneur-Zalman Shneurson Shmuel Khorish 124
Chapter 5
The Days of the Holocaust 127-169
Days of turmoil Shlomo Weissberg 129
In the days of the Holocaust Shlomo Weissberg 132
Memories from the deportation Yakov Akerman 137
What I went through Donia Sapir-Furman 138
My Grandfather's Visions in the Bloody Valley (a poem) [Y] Yosef Lerner 141
The Chronicle of Transnistria [Y] Yosef Horowitz 142
The Road of Pain [Y] Tania Fuks 152
On the Bloody Road [Y] Sh. Weissberg 158
In the Bershad Camp [Y] Esther Rekhter 162
Back Home [Y] Sh. Weissberg 164
Chapter 6
Brichany of old [Yiddish section] 171-230
Once There Was A Town… Michael Tcherkis 173
Briceni: Fifty or Sixty Years Ago Shlomo Lerner 189
Between the Two World Wars Shlomo Serebrenik 197
How the Jews Lived with Us Yakov Amitzur–Steinhaus 199
The General Assembly of the Loans and Saving Fund Sh. Weissberg 208
Rabbis in Britshan Khaim Milman 209
Moshe Kizhner (Moshe Reitzes), May He Rest in Peace Khaim Melman 211
Moshe Rosenblatt, A Friend from My Youth Avrohom Goldgehl 212
Remembrances Borukh Hokhman 217
Memories from Bricheni Dovid Beznassi 220
“Wheat Money” (Money given to the poor to buy Matzo for Passover) Shloime Lerner 226
Remarks Yakov Amitzur 230
Chapter 7
Some True Stories 231-266
The Interrupted Party Y. E. 233
The Lynching Esther Amitzur–Steinhaus 234
The First Keren Hayesod Delegation M. Amitz 236
A Speech for an Audience of One Y. E. 238
The Death of Dr. Hertzl [Y] Velvel Kizhner 239
“We announce to the People”) [Y] Y. E. 241
During the horror of the pogrom [Y] Y. Steinhaus (Amitzur) 243
Episodes from My Little Town [Y] Nelson Wainer 245
Organization of Former Brichany Residents in Israel [Y] M. Amitz-Tcherkis 247
Brichener Relief in America [Y] Yosef Keler (Kestelman) 251
Brichany Residents in Brazil [Y]   260
Friends from Venezuela [Y]   262
A Bit of Folklore [Y] Y. Amitzur 263
He Bought Out Someone Else's Sins Welvel Kizhener 265
Chapter 8
Our Townspeople Who Have Fallen in the War Of Independence 267-272
Meir Gelman z”l A. Feinberg 269
Yasha (Yaakov Moshe) Gnesin, Z”L (A collection) 270
Chanan Tepperman z”l Sarah Reichmann 272
Chapter 9
A Memorial Candle for the Families 273-291
List of Martyrs    
Chapter 10
Brichany Today 293-296
A Letter from a Brichenyer   295


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