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[Page 103]

In Memoriam


[Page 104]

Solomon Dorfman


Solomon Dorfman


Solomon was born in 1897 to a rich family, owners of a mill and wholesale dealers in flour. Before entering the Commercial High School, Solomon received a traditional Jewish education and tutored in Russian, privately.

As a youngster, Solomon joined a secret students' Zionist Society and even then, he showed inclination to conservatism, the ability to compromise and the gift of diplomacy. During World War I, Solomon lived in Elizavetgrad when his school was evacuated to that city. There, Solomon's interest in Zionism was further influenced by the renowned Zionist, the engineer Tiomkin who was also the teacher of religion at Solomon's school. After the 1917 Revolution, Solomon was studying at the Technological Institute in Ekaterinoslav. There he joined the Students Zionist organization “Hechover”.

In 1919, Solomon married his childhood sweetheart, Nunia Sadetsky. When the Bolsheviks occupied Kamenetz-Podolsk, the Dorfmans escaped to America. During the economic struggle of the first immigrant years, Solomon tried real estate. Later, he developed a fair insurance business and during World War II, he became successful in textiles. The Dorfmans gave their two daughters a Jewish education in the tradition of their parents.

During all their years in America, the Dorfmans were active in the Brooklyn Jewish centre and Nunia was also active

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in Hadassah. Solomon and Nunia were very active in the Kamenetz-Podolier Relief organization from the very time of its founding. At first Solomon was the treasurer and the last few years before he died, he was the president of the Kamenetz-Podolier Relief.

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Joseph Blatman


Joseph Blatman and family


Joseph's father, Sholom Blatman, was a distillery owner and an influential “chosid” in Kamenetz-Podolsk. When Joseph was a young child, his mother died and he went to live with his aunt and uncle, the “shochit” in Smotrich. It was expected that Joseph would take over his uncle's position but after receiving his “Smicha”, Joseph went into business. He married Frima Koifman from the village Verbovetz and they opened a kosher restaurant in Kamenetz-Podolsk.

Joseph incurred the displeasure of his father when he denounced “Chassidism” and joined the Zionist organization. It was Frima's ambition to have her children become professionals and each of her children graduated from high school and some from the university. After the 1917 Revolution, Joseph, who was active in Zionism before, became a member of the Zeire-Zion party, and was elected to the city council and to the Kehila.

By 1921, when his older son was in Rumania and the second son in America, Joseph decided that it was time to fulfil his Zionist dream: He took his family to Palestine.

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Joseph, with the help of a few young men from Kamenetz-Podolsk, built with his own hands his house in Tel-Aviv. When he was digging a well in the yard, a landslide killed his young son Simcha, a 15-year old student of the High School “Herzlia”. The shock was too much for the mother and after a few years in Palestine, the Blatmans left for Brazil. But Joseph was not happy in that country and by 1934, he and Frima were back in Tel-Aviv. Now Joseph was busy managing his married daughter's property in Palestine and taking part in the communal life in Tel-Aviv where he died in 1942. After the end of World War II, Frima joined her daughter's family in Rio de Janeiro where she died in 1961.

The ambition of Joseph Blatman was fulfilled – he lived and died in the land of his dreams – Eretz-Israel.

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David Schleifer


David Schleifer


Schleifer was born in 1863 to poor parents in Kamenetz-Podolsk. He graduated from local high school. He worked his way through college and studied law at the Charkov University.

On becoming a lawyer, Schleifer returned to Kamenetz-Podolsk. Here he married and began a very successful law practice. He became known for his Zionist activities which he started with the “Bilui” as a student.

After the first Zionist Congress, Schleifer organized five branches of the Zionists in Kamenetz-Podolsk absorbing the former “Lovers of Zion”. Working unceasingly in the city and in the province, Schleifer succeeded in turning the Zionists of the district into a political power among the Jewish population. At a conference in Kamenetz-Podolsk, Schleifer was elected to head the Zionists of the region and to cooperate with the Odessa and the Vilna Zionist Committees. As a leader among Zionists of Russia, Schleifer was delegated to Zionist conferences and to World Zionist Congresses. During the first few years after the 1905 Revolution, the Russian government changed its attitude to Zionists – from friendly to hostile. In 1909, the local police raided Schleifer's home and office and confiscated all papers connected with his Zionist activities. All members of the city and the district Zionist committees were put on trial as subversives. Schleifer, in a brilliant defence, gained the acquittal of the accused but they were prohibited from further Zionist work. The organization ceased to exist and Schleifer devoted his energy to Jewish community work.

In 1914, Schleifer moved to Kiev. There again, he became known as a Zionist, as an able lawyer and leader in community affairs. After the 1917 Revolution, Schleifer was again in the forefront of Zionist and general Jewish activities. He was a delegate to the Convention of Ukrainian

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Jews, to the conference of Kehilas, to Zionist conventions and also elected as a member of the Kehila in Kiev. Recognizing his abilities, the government appointed Schleifer as city Judge.

In 1918 when the Denikin army occupied Kiev, the counter-revolutionary soldiers of General Denikin celebrated their temporary victory with a pogrom on Jews. Among the hundreds of innocent victims, David Schleifer was brutally murdered. At the age of 55, the brilliant career of David Schleifer was suddenly ended.

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Israel Goldman


Israel Goldman


Born in Orinin, Goldman came to Kamenetz-Podolsk where he received the traditional education in Cheder and Yeshiva. He also studied Yiddish and Russian. Growing up in the home of his grandfather, young Goldman was exposed to Zionism which he practiced all his life. Goldman wrote poetry and published a volume “Ideal of Life”. In recognition for his work for the community and for Zionism, Schleifer appointed Goldman secretary of the city and district Zionists committees.

Goldman contributed to newspapers and wrote a column for the Odessa newspaper: “Good Morning”. Later, he became the manager of the city office of “Eko”, helping Jews to immigrate to North and South America. He wrote a series of articles about the lot of Jews forced to immigrate.

In 1914, Goldman settled in Kiev where he was (underground) manager of the regional office of the Jewish National Fund. After the 1917 Revolution, Goldman was elected president of the Kehila in Kiev. Goldman was active in Zionist and general Jewish organizations. But, all activities were stopped by the Bolsheviks when they occupied Kiev. By 1922, Goldman succeeded in escaping to Palestine. Here too Goldman continued his communal and Zionist work. Together with Rabbi Mase, he worked in the “Brith Harishonim” and was also a contributor to Israeli newspapers and magazines. Goldman organized the “committee of people from Kamenetz-Podolsk and environs” and helped prepare the publishing of the memorial book of the district in Hebrew.

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Zalman Fradkin


Zalman Porath (Fradkin)


Born in Priluki, Fradkin arrived in Kamenetz-Podolsk after the 1917 Revolution. From then on, he was very active in Zionist and community work until the Bolsheviks occupied the city. Then Fradkin escaped to Rumania.

Thanks to Fradkin's energetic work, the Zeire-Zion Party in Kamenetz-Podolsk became the strongest party among the Jewish population of the city and the district. When Fradkin's ability as an executive was recognized, he was elected manager of the Kamenetz-Podolsk Kehila. He held this position until the Bolsheviks abolished the democratically elected Kehila.

Outside of his work for the Zeire-Zion party and for the Kehila, Fradkin organized a co-operative: here his knowledge of the co-operative movement showed results and helped the poorer classes of the city to cope with the rampant inflation.

By the end of 1920, Fradkin was in Kishinev, Rumania, where again he continued his fruitful work for the Zionists. In no time, he acquired knowledge of Rumanian and became active with the American Joint and “Haias”. He was very helpful to Jews who had escaped from the Ukraine to proceed to Palestine or to America. While in Rumania, Fradkin was a contributor to the Yiddish publication “Unzer Zeit”.

His life-long ambition to live in Palestine was finally achieved. After settling in Israel, Fradkin continued his activities for the community and, as an expert in co-operatives, he devoted the rest of his life in that field.

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Scholom Altman


Scholom Altman


He was born in Rogachin, Bessarabia to a very religious and Chassidic family. His early education he received in Chotin but instead of becoming a chassid like his father, he turned out to be a modern, progressive Jew and a Zionist.

He married a young lady from Zvanitz and entered business there. Believing that a “Lover of Zion” should practice what he preaches, Altman went to Palestine at the age of 25. He worked in the colony Rishon Lezion together with the pioneer, Moishe Smiliansky. After a few years, Altman returned to Zvanitz where he organized a modern Hebrew school and became its principal. In a few years, the “Zvanitzer Talmud Tora” became famous throughout Podolia. Parents from near and far sent their children to Altman's school. Some famous Jewish leaders were alumni of the Zvanitzer Talmud Tora.

Altman was an active Zionist and a delegate to World Zionist Congresses and to conference of Russian Zionists. In 1915, exiled from Zvanitz, Altman settled in Kamenetz-Podolsk where he devoted himself to work for the community and for Zionism. He proved to be a very effective speaker for Zionist causes.

In 1921, Altman escaped from the Bolsheviks to Jerusalem. There he became manager of a school and secretary of the district Talpot. After working in Tel-Aviv for a while, Altman finally settled in Kriat Anovim among many of his former pupils and admirers. He was the unofficial mayor of the Kvutz, worked in his garden and in the library until he passed at the age of 100.

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Joshua Malchi
(Schika Saltzman)


Joshua Saltzman


His life was devoted to the Hebrew language and to practicing Zionism. From early childhood in his native Zwanitz, he was exposed to the Zionist idea. As a young boy, Schika went to Palestine where he studied at the Tel-Aviv “Herzlia” high school. In the summer of 1914, while at home on vacation, Schika was prevented from returning to Palestine by the start of World War I.

In 1915 he settled in Kamenetz-Podolsk when the Jews from Zwanitz were exiled. Schika became a teacher of Hebrew. But he was more than that. He rallied a great part of the Jewish youth in Kamenetz-Podolsk around the “Beth-Am”, the centre of Hebrew culture and the home of the secret Zionist organization. He also organized a group of Chalutzim which was one of the first to depart from the Ukraine after the War with Palestine.

After the 1917 Revolution, Schika was one of the most active among the Zionists in Kamenetz-Podolsk. He possessed a great oratorical talent and was unequal in debates with anti-Zionists. In 1919, he led the Kamenetz-Podolier chalutzim to Palestine and helped organize the Kvutza “Kriat Anovim”. The rest of his life he worked in “Kriat Anovim” making it one of the most progressive and prosperous kvutzas in Israel.

As a monument to Schika's cultural activities, “Kriat Anovim” dedicated their extensive library to his memory.

[Page 114]

Meyer Oasrachi
(Munia Zack)


Meyer Zack


As a child, Munia came to Kamenetz-Podolsk from Kupin to live at the home of his aunt, Mrs. Brodsky. Here he was exposed to the Zionist idea. After he graduated from the Technical High School in Kamenetz-Podolsk, Munia enrolled in the Psycho-Neurological Institute in Petrograd.

The 1917 Revolution interrupted his studies and Munia came back to Kamenetz-Podolsk where he married his cousin, Miss Brodsky. Munia devoted his life to community and Zionist work.

Yet at school, Munia showed a great talent in public speaking: as a worker for Zionism, Munia proved to be an outstanding orator and a convincing debater. Munia proved his ability as an executive after his election as president of the Kamenetz-Podolier Kehila.

Munia and his wife escaped from the Ukraine when the Bolsheviks occupied the country. In Bassarabia (Rumania) Munia became affiliated with the World Zionist Organization and served in many capacities. In the interest of Zionist Funds, Munia travelled in many European countries but finally settled in Israel. His experience and talents were utilized by the Zionist Organization for which he worked until his untimely death.

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Mathis Sigal


Mathis Sigal


Sigal's father was a cantor in Kamenetz-Podolsk and gave his son the traditional education in Cheder and Yeshiva. When time came for Sigal to be drafted into the Czarist Army, he escaped to Galicia. There he continued his education and fell under the spell of Zionism. On returning to his native Kamenetz-Podolsk after the 1917 Revolution, Sigal devoted all his time to Zionist and cultural work. He was a convincing speaker for Zionist causes and a forceful debater and an opponent of Jewish socialists. When the city was occupied by the Bolsheviks, Sigal escaped to Kishinev in Rumania. There he worked with the known Zionist leader, Dr. Bernstein-Cohen. He became very effective in the Zionist fund raising campaigns. He worked also for the American “Joint” and the “Haias”, helping the Jews escaping from Ukraine on their way to Palestine or to America.
In 1932, Sigal left for Palestine where he was in charge of the “Keren Hai sod” office in Tel-Aviv.

In Palestine, Sigal was active in many communal undertakings and cultural organizations. He was the head of the organization of Kamenetzer and until his death, he worked for the Hebrew memorial book: “Kamenetz-Podolsk”.

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Malka Migrom Glassman


Malka Migrom Glassman


Malka Milgrom Glassman was born in 1900, the younger daughter of a winemaker Moishe and his wife Bessie of Kamenetz-Podolsk. Malka graduated the Marinskaia Gymnasium and worked as a secretary.

A cousin of Milgroms, Moishe Glassman of Sokoletz came to stay with them. He entered the Kamenetz business world and soon began to court the attractive Malka. The Milgroms had a very close and warm Jewish family life. They had sons Simon and Abraham, a daughter Sarah and a younger son Jacob. Only the families of Simon and Jacob remain in Europe – Jacob is in Kharkov, a successful engineer and has a son Michel.

Sarah married into the Bograd family in the town of Nova-Seletz in Bessarabia, Rumania. Malka and Moishe Glassman spent part of their honeymoon with the Bograds in early 1921. Subsequently, the Bograds immigrated to Ecuador.

Of Simon's family, we know little except that he left Kamenetz to join his grandfather in Kishenev. He was a wine merchant there. Much later, he returned to Kamenetz where he married after Malka had left for Canada.

Abraham left Kamenetz to become a settler in Israel where he stayed for two years before immigrating to Santiago, Chile where he now lives with his family.

Soon after Malka and Moishe Glassman were married, they decided to join Mr. Glassman's brother Izzy in Montreal, Canada arriving on May 16, 1921. The life of Malka

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Glassman is the tale of the thousands of devoted Jewish women who immigrated to the New World in search of a new life. The new life started in the poverty of the slums of Montreal where Moishe Glassman tried hard to make a living. Finally, in 1929, he found work in the town of Three Rivers, 100 miles from Montreal. After the tragic death of their second son, Saul and severe injury to their third son, Abie, the Glassmans decided to leave Montreal for Three Rivers with their sons Alex, born in 1921 and Harry, born in 1928. Starting at the bottom and in the difficult depression days, but through hard work and sacrifice, Malka and Moishe built a home and a business. They always offered hospitality to any Jewish traveller who came to Three Rivers no matter how meagre the fare might have been. Two more sons were born, Izzy in 1932 and Louis in 1936.

The years of toil wasted away the tall beauty. Working with her husband in the store and taking care of the family took all the strength and health of this devoted woman.

In 14947, Malka's brother Jacob, who then lived in Siberia, wrote to the editor of this book, Leon S. Blatman, asking him to locate Malka which Mr. Blatman was able to do. Malka was overjoyed to find the whereabouts of Jacob and requested Mr. Blatman to try to locate her brother Abraham who was in Chile. Once again, Mr. Blatman was successful in locating a member of the far-flung Milgrom family. However, it was too late for Malka. She succumbed to cancer in May, 1948.

Malka Milgrom Glassman lives on in the lives of her children, all of whom are successful in their chosen fields. Alex, an engineer, lives in New York with his wife Florence Blatman Glassman and their three children: Harry, an architect who lives in Montreal with his wife Nushia Glait Glassman and their daughter; Izzy is in the insurance field and lives in Montreal with his wife Doreen Acker Glassman and their two children and Louis, still single, runs the family business in Three Rivers.

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The Glassman family


The Glassman family


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Pinchos Wolfenson


Pinchos Wolfenson


The family of Pinchos Wolfenson was very close to the family of his brother, Chaim. Both were born in Kamenetz-Podolsk; both were married there; both families had four children each and both families had to flee from the city and settle in America. Pinchos came to New York while Chaim went to Argentina. The brothers became in-laws when the cousins Isidore and Charlotte were married.

In Kamenetz-Podolsk, Pinchos had a business unusual for city Jews. He would rent from a large estate owner a quarry and supply builders with stone and gravel for construction work. In the winter, when these activities were terminated by the weather, some of his workers would drive taxis for him. (One- horse drojki).

Pinchos did not mingle in politics nor did he belong to any party. He was religious but not fanatical – a typical Kamenetzer who knew the value of modern education. His daughter Bella graduated from the Government High School while Charlotte showed a talent in drawing. This came in handy when later, in New York; Charlotte was the designer in the business she was in with her husband and her older sister. Pinchos managed to bring the family to New York in 1921 where he was in the grocery business the rest of his life.

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The Kaplun Family


Itzek Kaplun's children killed by the Nazi together with their parents in Kamenetz-Podolsk, 1941


Everybody in Kamenetz-Podolsk knew the “Moische Yoina” synagogue. This was originally the home of Kunia and Gisia Kaplun which they rebuilt as a place of worship. Their children received traditional and very orthodox Jewish education. Later in life, the children of Kunia supplemented their education with modern knowledge and became known for their organizational union work and for cultural activities. The tragedy of the Jewish people during the Holocaust befell the Kapluns and took a terrible toll among them.

The oldest son, Michael, his wife Rose and their two teenaged daughters were murdered by the Nazi. Before his entire family was annihilated, Michael already had made a name for himself as a social-democrat in Poale-Zionist. During World War I, he was among the organizers of a secret Yiddish school for refugees and of the Yiddish library.

Another son, Izchek with his wife and three young children were killed by the Nazi in Kamenetz-Podolsk. The third son, Motia, an officer in the Red Army, was killed in a battle under Stalingrad. Motia's wife, an infant daughter, a sister Basia and a brother Joseph were saved by being evacuated deep into eastern Russia. But brother Simon spent four years in a concentration camp and now lives in Israel.

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Morris Kaplun left Kamenetz-Podolsk after World War I, lived in Poland and finally came to New York before the start of World War II.

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Chaim Wolfenson


Chaim Wolfenson


Chaim was born in Kamenetz-Podolsk where he was married and brought up three sons and one daughter. Chaim received a rabbinical degree but did not choose to be a rabbi. Like his brother Pinchos, he had connections with a number of peasants from nearby villages. This helped him to be successful in running a flour mill and in his wood business. In Kamenetz-Podolsk, the heating of houses was done by burning wood. Chaim would buy from large estates parcels of forest and have the trees chopped into fire wood.

Unlike his brother Pinchos, Chaim was a Zionist and brought up his children in the Zionist spirit. This is the reason why his son Isidore became enchanted with the idea of becoming a pioneer (Chalutz). Isidore joined a group which left Kamenetz-Podolsk in 1921 on the way to Palestine. Unfortunately, this group was stranded in Rumania for 2 years. When the Chalutzim were in the port of Constanza ready to embark for Palestine, Isidore became sick and was left behind. Later, he came to New York but his family could not escape from Kamenetz-Podolsk until 1927. Chaim, with his wife and three children, could not get a visa to North America and settled in Argentina where his family prospered.

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After many years, Isidore, Charlotte and Bella Wolfson gave up their manufacturing business in New York and became owners of a nursing home in New Rochelle, where they still reside.


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