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[Page 124]

The Drachler Family

Zalman Hersch Drachler, the owner of the flour mill in Zavalia, combined the best of a Chortkover Chosid with the fine qualities of the Haskalah and Zionism.

The Drachlers educated their children to love Zion. They proved that Zionism could be practiced in Palestine long before Israel was established.

Israel, the oldest brother, a leading educator, a labour Zionist leader in Russia and the U.S., was a delegate to the first Zionist Congress in Basel. His two sons, Nachmen and Shloime, are prominent in the field of American and Jewish education.

Sister Chaya at age 20 settled in Palestine in 1908. She was among the Hashomer group that organized Kfar Giladi, the first Kibbutz in Upper Galilee. Her sons and twelve grandchildren today live in Kibbutzim. Sister Dvorah at age 17 came to Palestine to join Chaya in building Eretz Israel. Unfortunately, Dvorah at age 21, together with other pioneers, died defending Tel Chai and perished alongside the great Zionist leader, Joseph Trumpeldor who was killed by Arabs. Sarah, active in Moetzet Hapoalot, was a teacher in the children's' day school. Her son Odet is a founder of Kibbutz Rivivim. She was killed by the Arabs in 1936. Abraham, in the U.S. since 1910, was an ardent Zionist and his daughters Esther and Pauline were raised in the same spirit. Louis and Samuel were active in Zionist Youth groups. Samuel was one of the founders of the Zionist sport club “Maccabee” in Kamenetz-Podolsk. In America, the brothers continued their Zionist work in the Labour Zionist Farband and on behalf of Israeli Bonds.

[Page 125]

The Drachler Family
Zalman Hersch and Alta Drachler


The Drachler Family

Zalman Hersch and Alta Drachler
IsraelMonument inAbraham
Tel Chai to
The fallen
Louis        Samuel


[Page 126]

Israel Drachler


Israel Drachler and family


For almost 50 years in Russia and in America, Israel Drachler held an outstanding position as an educator and a Labour Zionist leader.

As a young man, Israel was recognized among the Zionists of Kamenetz-Podolsk whom he represented at country conferences and at World Zionist Congresses. Starting as a teacher in Zwanitz, Orinin and in Kamenetz-Podolsk, Israel Drachler became the head of the Educational Department of Pinchos Krasny's Jewish Ministry in 1919.

During World War I, Drachler was among the organizers of the illegal Yiddish schools. All through the years, Israel Drachler was a contributor to Jewish publications in many lands. He also wrote short story(?) and poetry in Yiddish. Although a Zionist all his life, he left the general Zionist organization and became the leader of the Social Democratic Poale-Zion. On arrival in America, he again

[Page 127]

became active in the more moderate American Labour Zionist movement.

Israel came first to Canada and in 1924 arrived in New York. In 1928, he was summoned to Detroit where he was affiliated with the Scholem Aleichem School system. Until his death, Israel Drachler was active in the Jewish educational field in Detroit where, at the same time, he took part in communal affairs. He also worked for the Labour Zionists' projects. His outstanding qualities as an educator were recognized by the Jewish community of Detroit.

His sons followed in their father's footsteps by devoting their energies to the field of education. The older son, Norman is assistant superintendent of Detroit public schools after teaching in public and in Yiddish schools until he received his Ph.D in 1951. He is a member of the Labour Zionist Organization.

The younger son Sol is director of the Jewish Welfare Federation of Detroit after years of work in the Jewish educational field. As a youth, he was active in Habanim and later was the founding President of Branch N°1 of the Labour Zionist Organization.

Mrs. Rose Drachler, like her husband, started in Habanim to become active in Chapter N°2 of the Detroit “Pioneer Women” where she is the secretary.


[Page 128]


The leaders of the “Kamenetz-Podolier Relief Organization” in New York in 1945


[Page 129]

Benjamin Rosenblatt

In many respects, the family of Benjamin Rosenblatt was typical among Kamenetzer at the turn of the century. Mr. and Mrs. Rosenblatt were brought up in very religious families which were quite prosperous and strictly Chassidic.

Benjamin married the beautiful 17 year-old Feigele Rudoy who, besides a dowry, received from her rich father a variety shop which kept her financially independent through the years. Mr. Rudoy offered to take Benjamin into his hardware store but the young Rosenblatt preferred to work with his father in the wholesale flour, dry fish and oil business.

From the start, Geigele showed a liking for the better things in life. She fitted up her home with fine furniture, rugs and paintings. She wore well-tailored clothes of the latest style and jewellery to match. Although very religious, she, nevertheless, liked the theatre and opera. She was one of the first to join the Zionist organization and her home was open for meetings of the executive even when the Zionists were forced underground. Her children received a good Jewish and general education. When the oldest daughter Rebecca was about to graduate the Marinskaia High School, Benjamin felt that it was time he was in business for himself.

His older brother and sister wrote to him from New York to come to America for a couple of years where he could save enough money to start a business on his return to Kamenetz. Benjamin went to America and Feigele was able to provide and take care of her five children. In 1913, Benjamin asked Feigele to send the older two children; Rebecca and Sam to him although he learned in no time that: “The streets in New York are not paved with gold bricks”. Feigele agreed hoping that in America the daughter would go to college and 13 year-old Sam would have better opportunities.

The World War I and the Russian Revolution, for six long years, made it impossible for the Rosenblatts

[Page 130]

Benjamin Rosenblatt before leaving Kamenetz-Podolsk for America with his wife and children, his parents and sister.

in Kamenetz and for the part of the family in New York to hear from one another. Mail did not come from abroad. They lived in hope, eventually to be reunited. Meanwhile, Feigele continued in her store and brought up the three children remaining with her. The older daughter, Sophie, helped her run the store. The youngsters, Sylvia and Abraham went to school during the day and studied Hebrew at the Beth-Am in the evening. Sophie was interested in Zionism and was in an advanced group in the Beth-Am – the younger children joined the “Hatchia”, a Zionist youth organization.

Finally, in the spring of 1920, mail came from America. The rejoicing at the Rosenblatt home was overwhelming. At last they would be able to go to America and be with the husband and father as well as the other two children. Benjamin wrote that everyone was well – Rebecca and Sam

[Page 131]

had married and he sent money and visas with a “delegate” for them to come to New York. Preparations were started for Feigele and the children to leave Kamenetz as soon as the store and household were liquidated. A week before the departure date, Feigele contracted typhus and within 10 days had died. The bereaved orphans later travelled to America where in the fall they re-joined their father, brother and sister.

After a couple of years, the girls were married and later, the younger son also started a family of his own. Benjamin shared the joys and sorrows of his children but did not live to see even the Bar-Mitzva of his oldest grandson. Benjamin died of pneumonia in 1932.

During World War II, the Nazi annihilated, among other Jews in Kamenetz-Podolsk, all the relatives of the Rosenblatts. The only ones remaining are a cousin, Jacob Bondar in Chabarovsk, Siberia and an aunt, Chaitzia Rudoy and her children in Charkov.


[Page 132]


A group of “Maccabee, Jewish sport club” members in Kamenetz-Podolsk in 1919



A refugee from Kamenetz-Podolsk (father and child) before their escape from Russia into a D.P. camp in Germany in 1946


[Page 133]


The children of Boris Jurist, a printer in Kamenetz-Podolsk in Chernowitz in 1947 on the return from eastern Russia to the destroyed home town



Goldberg from Kamenetz-Podolsk who survived Belsen and came to Israel in 1948



Michael Neiser and family originally from Kamenetz-Podolsk, in Paris in 1948 on their Way to Israel from a D.P. camp in Germany


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