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Jewish Pupils in a Lithuanian Gymnasium (cont.)

Hachshara in Kibbutz “Chaim” in Ponevezh[3]

When I received permission from the Hashomer Hatzair administration, I left home and went on hachshara. I remember packing my clothes myself, and thinking about my late mother who was not around to help me.

From Kovno (Kaunas), I was sent to Kibbutz “Chaim” in Ponevezh. Immediately, I was set to work in the kitchen and I was at a loss. This was not my area of expertise…

Granted, conditions were difficult, but there was bread … supplied by the Jewish baker. I think the local community also supported us.

Rivka with a Child among the Chalutzim


I helped the teacher in the municipal kindergarten. Later on, I took care of a child who was talented but problematic, and I would take walks with him to see our young men who worked in the woods cutting trees. The young men would be on the roam looking for landlords who would employ them in cutting down trees for heating their houses. There was one woman, Mrs. Levine, who asked, “How am I going to give such hard work to these young Jews?” But after explaining to her that we must support and feed ourselves, she consented. They also worked in Hazan's flax factory.

Our Chalutzim Cutting Trees …


Chalutzim in Hazan's Flax Factory



  1. The Zionist movements had centers where young people trained for living and working on kibbutzim in Palestine. These training centers were called kibbutz hachshara and each one had its own name. Kibbutz Chaim in Ponevez was named after Chaim Arlozorov. Return

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