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[Page 125]

The Young Teacher

By Yitzchak Porat (Poritz)

Translated by Judy Grossman

I studied in the pro-gymnasia (junior high school) in Utian (Utena), and also gave private lessons.

I began working at the Tarbut School in my shtetl at a very young age. I remember an incident, in 1924, when I was nineteen years old (although on my official papers I was only fifteen, in order to postpone being drafted into the army). The (non-Jewish) inspector of schools came to examine from up close the fifteen year-old “genius” who was applying for a teachers' license. Since lessons were taught in Hebrew, he could only assess my teaching ability in the subject of arithmetic, and thus he monitored me for three lessons… He probably understood that I was older than stated on my papers, but he ignored it and issued me a temporary teaching license.

The following year a new inspector came, who was rumored to be an absolute anti-Semite. He began to plot against me, and I decided to stop teaching in the shtetl. I moved to Rakishok (Rokiskis), where I worked at bookkeeping…


The young teacher Yitzchak Poritz (1) among his friends: the teacher Yehuda-Yudel Slep (20) who still has all his hair and the principal Hillel Schwartz (47)


Back row: Slovka Segal (13), Adina-Hinda Glick daughter of Rochl-Leah (9), Rachel Zeligson
Second row: Rachel Shub (21), Etka Schneider, Mirka Baron, Rivka Milun (30)
Third row: Iska Zeif (36), Dovidke Zack, Sarka Melamed, Meir Slep, Masha Slep, Matke Mere-Dine's
Seated: Libke Kasimov, Lanka (62) and her brother Moishale Visakolsky (63), Moishale Zeif (64), Honke Glick (65) (son of Rochl-Leah), (-), Motale Slep, Beinish Yudelowitz (68), (-), (-), (-), Tzalke Zalkind, Shmuel Levitt (73), Reuven Milun (74), (-), (-), Sheinke Yossman (76) and Rivka Pores (78), Micha Baron (79)


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