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Translation:

Mogilev

The verse that is repeated on the four sides of the frame on the front page is from Malachi 3:20. While the word shemesh is the sun, and it refers to healing powers of the sunshine, the same word can be read as shamosh. Based on the drawing it means: One who performs his duty of righteousness, heals with its wings.

The design of Hebrew letters all over the page around the drawing is a combination of the first letter of each of the four words of the name Mohilever American Brotherhood Union, the large letter is mem the letter imposed on it is alef and under on the right is he letter beis and on the left the letter pay.

A souvenir

Of the twenty-fifth year of existence

Mogilev, American

Brotherly guild

Chicago

 

[Page 5]

[Look at the rock from which you were hewn and from
the hollow of the pit that you were dug. Isaiah 51:1]

A Quarter of a Century

The Editors

Twenty-five years have flown by since the establishment of the Mohilev-American brotherhood union known by the name – American Brotherhood of Mohilev.

 

Twenty-five Years – a Quarter of a Century!

For an individual such a number of years is a large span of his life and for an organization – a group that encompasses many individuals, it is also a significant number of years that is notable in its life and activity. An organization that covers its first quarter of a century, has already lived through all the birth pangs of forming and organizing and it already has deep roots that cannot be corrupted that easily.

We doubt if the founders of the “American-brotherhood” had in mind twenty-five years ago that they are laying the foundation of an organization that will with time perform broadly with such strength in the public Jewish life in America and will survive twenty-five years with such a shinning record. To us is clear that the founders wanted to create a space that retained and contained the four cubits of their town Mohilev that exists locked away and separated for themselves. They made the purpose of the function of the organization to help one another in time of need or sickness. To meet from time to time and remind themselves of the old home, where they spent their childhood years, to reinforce their memory. We can indicate this exactly by that which exists in the constitution till today – that only a person who originates from Mohilev or its surroundings can become a member of this organization. If the principal remains till today, they did not limit their activity in the realm of when help is needed for themselves but extended the assistance to the entire Jewish people wherever they were. They did not isolate themselves from participating in the American Jewish life or from the life of the Jewish nation overseas. And at the conclusion of the first quarter century of existence feels like a limb of the entire Jewish organism.

Furthermore, the past twenty-five years were extraordinary for mankind in general and in particular for the Jewish nation.

This was maybe the most important and significant time in our two-thousand-year exile history, a time when the old persecutions fade and the old beliefs die away, the Jewish people feels united nationally and the class separate is cracked. Recently was the time of pogroms, murders, destruction that even the wild fantasy would not have been able to imagine the change, that would be unbelievable even in the serious times of the Middle Ages.

This was also the time of mass movement of political Zionism and Jewish communism and together with this national awakening that appears to have uplifted the entire nation yet threatened everywhere by a mass assimilation to extinguish us. And while we are talking about the old historical hope that was such a wonderful inspiration as never before, it underscores for us in truth such a clumsy hopelessness that we never knew till now during our entire history.

It is understood that we felt all this strongly in our old wretched homes, while we were living in the distant and free America only with the glimmers of life of our brothers who lived overseas.

During the past twenty-five years more than two million immigrants arrived in America, one sixth of the entire Jewish nation took the wandering stick and came here to us - seven Spanish exile, seven times the number of Jews that were driven out of Spain left the home of their ancestors and searched for a new home in our distant shores.

There is not value to the amazing changes that have happened in contemporary Jewish life, there is no limit to the great organizational and educational work, clarification and help work that had to be done. In all these great undertakings the Mogilev-American brotherhood guild took part in with all its power, and therefore by the end of twenty-five years of existence, we can gratulate it and give it our heartfelt thanks for a job well done.

We give respect to the founders and builders of the “American Brotherhood of Mohilev” we give respect to all the members who have the merit to participate in the twenty-five-year anniversary of our noble organization, about you we can say (Psalm 133:1) “how good and pleasant it is when brothers sit together.”

Make it your business to beautify and strengthen your compatriot association.

Be more diligent in your work, more strength till our 50th year jubilee and onward.


[Page 7]

Me and Them

Z. Veinper

Can a border restrain?
Through all the stormy seas
It reaches us again and again
The call from brothers, -
There is you and me – both of us,
Just parts of an entire community!

Exhausted in all ways
Hardships behind, and hardships ahead,
Just lips quivering from fever
A vocal request comes to us: -
There is you and me – both of us,
Just parts of an entire community!

And me, here, at completely loaded tables,
Then are we not a thin outstretched hand?
Through seas, over walls and cities
They reach in all homes: -
There is you and me – both of us,
Just parts of an entire community!


[Page 8]

How the Mohilev American Brotherhood Guild was founded

Harry Levin

The national's union “American brotherhood of Mohilev”, is currently celebrating a twenty-fifth-year celebration. 25 years have flown by since the founding of our guild. With joy and pride, we can now confirm the sum total of the important accomplishments and work on various fronts by the guild.

We, the founders, feel like conquerors, because we remember how difficult it was to form the guild. Simply, there was a campaign waged by specific persons not to allow the existence of a Mohilever guild in Chicago. I am not undertaking in this article to describe all that happened. I will only demonstrate one image. I see everything as if it happened yesterday.

25 years ago: - On a specific day, I come from work and meet Moshe Levin and Lipa Levin arguing: How can we gather all the Mohilever who are in Chicago. I ask, “what do we need them for?” They respond: “This year Simchas Torah is on a Sunday, we want to gather on Simchas Torah just like in the old home.”

There were not many Mohilever in Chicago and the ones who were there were spread all over the city. There were no electric cars at that time. There were vehicles that were drawn by horses. Bringing everyone together on a specific day was very difficult work. Yet, we decided to go ahead with the plan. We brought on board Nathan Kohn and got involved in the work. There were only ten days left to Simchas Torah. We organized a committee of fellow countrymen: Hirsh Bulter, Sigal and A. Terman. The committee began preparing; rented a hall, got hold of a sefer Torah, prepared food and drink. Everyone worked tirelessly but we also felt an uneasiness: what will happen if no-one shows? What will be do with all that we prepared?

 


Anniversary committee
Abe Entin, Abe Krol, Yosef Sogaver, M. Laikin, B. Rotner, Moni Shapatkin, Harry Kohn, Y. S. Gallin, Zalman Neimark, Harry Levin, Z. Karapof, B. Shapiro

[Page 9]

Our unrest was for naught. What waited for us was a great surprise. Shabbos at exactly 7pm all the Mohilever people came together for Simchas Torah like one big family. The masterminds were greatly praised for not having left out even one landsman. We immediately began to celebrate. What can I tell you? In the old home we did not party so much. At the time there was no prohibition and alcohol was cheap. It became apparent that we did not prepare enough food and drink. The committee decided to pay a visit to a few Mohilever families who lived nearby and take what they needed amicably or with fury, everything that they can get. Anything that we can get. That is exactly what happened. Moshe Levin, Hirsh Bolter, Sigal and A. Terman visited a few Mohilever homes. When the women did not want to give, they made a pogrom on the basis that for Simchas Torah everything is permitted. We then had enough to eat and drink and to continue partying till late at night.

During those happy hours, when we sat at the table and let loose, I made a suggestion, that we should establish a Mohilever society. Everyone agreed except for one person. He stood up and screamed: - “Blood can run, I will not allow that on the “north side” there should be established a society.”

The basis for the persons opposition was as follows: - Approximatel one and a half years earlier in the north side of Chicago was established a union called “Hebrew workers” and the person screaming Henry Katz was the founder and director. In brief, we suffered terribly from him. There is a saying: that sometimes a Katz (cat) can also be destructive. We met this wicked Katz at every step that we made. Why did he fight us so fiercely and why did we have from him so much disruption can be explained as follows:

25 years ago, the Mohilever nationals worked with iron wire at the “Gerber factory”. It did not matter if the person has worked before with gold or as a tanner, as soon as a new guy arrived from overseas, he was dragged away to work in that factory. Henry Katz was a foreman in that factory together with another director of the “Hebrew Workers” whose name was Weiss. Nu, you can well imagine, that these two guys could do what they wanted with the Mohilever nationals. All Mohilever people had to belong to the “Hebrew workers”. In the shop and at their meetings all they spoke about was how not to allow the existence of a Mohilever union. I was also a member of the Hebrew workers union but to their meetings they warned me not to come or they will beat me and break my bones if I come. I was not afraid of them, because I did not work with the iron wire. The other nationals did what they were told. When someone became a member of our association, he no longer went to the meeting.

Another person who disturbed us was Harry Harwin, a strong patriot of the “Hebrew workers” and from him it difficult to conceal. Nathan Kohn and I lived in the same house as he did. He often came into my brother Moshe Levin and found myself and Nathan there. He would make a lot of fun of us and call us fools and try to convince us that we will never be successful to have in Chicago a Mohilever society. He was very incensed when he spoke and when he left, he screamed in anger with an outstretched hand: “just like grass cannot grow here, so too you will not have a Mohilever society.”

The situation of our society at the time was very bad. New members did not come on the contrary, with time the old members left. There were no funds in the till. Nathan Kohn was disappointed and once said to me: - “if the society will become extinct, then I will leave Chicago.” Hopefully, I will not encounter our disrupters and opposers.

I then gave the advice, to gather the active members of our society and look for ways and methods how to bring the society back to life. That is what we did. To the meeting came: Moshe

[Page 10]

Levin, Segal, Harry Balter, A. Terman, Zlotkin and V. Terman. We pondered about doing one of the two. Either completely give up on having a society or find means and ways to expand the membership and enlarge the finances. It was decided to organize a concert and ball in order to have the possibility to once again gather together all Mohilever compatriots. We got to work. We rented a hall on Chicago Ave with the name “dove hall” and made subsequent preparations. Such an undertaking was not easy to carry out, especially as the active people were all “greene” meaning not fully Americanized, yet it was done tastefully. We made over one hundred dollars profit. All over people spoke about what a beautiful concert it was and how well it was organized. We can say that this undertaking sealed our fate that the Mohilever society will exist.

Subsequently our antagonists kept their mouths closed. They understood that their speaking against us will not help them. Our society began to grow and at every meeting more people joined. Everyone paid their dues in time. With this is also worth mentioning a small episode: Harry Harvin, one of our opponents, once said to Moshe Levin, that if I and Nathan Kohn will not blackball him, then he will become a member of the society. When I found out about what he said, I stretched out my hand to Moshe Levin and said: “Just as grass can grow here, so too can Harry Harvin become a member of the Mohilever society.” I then felt victorious over all enemies and therefore used the same words that he once said about the existence of our society. Later we accepted H. Harvin into the society, and he became very active and devoted to our society.

In the previous lines I spoke about how the society was founded. About the accomplishments of the society and the persons who worked for its interests let someone else write, I only spoke about the founding and the personalities who were connected with it. Of the founders were H. Sigal, B. Shapiro and the writer of this article, till today constant active workers for the Mohilever guild.

I will now express my opinion about specific questions that have a connection with our association. People ask Mohilever members: “Why do you only accept people to be members from Mohilev and its surroundings. It creates an impression that you are separating yourselves from everyone and don't want to know about anyone else.” It is far from the truth that the Mohilever have separated themselves from everyone, 100 percent of our members belong to many other organizations. Our entire society interests itself and participates in every public gathering that happens in the Jewish life, no less than other organizations. Now, why do we only accept Mohilever as members? Simply, if our group was open to everyone then we would not be able to do as much as we have done for the city of Mohilev. For example, if we have members who were from Galitzia, Romania, or even Litvaks, they would protest and not let us do so much for Mohilev. The following episode will illustrate this point:

About one year ago, a blind Jew came to us and introduced himself as a shopkeeper from the Mohilever area. He requested assistance, money to travel to Philadelphia. We gave him forty dollars for a ticket to Philadelphia and forty dollars for pocket money. Nu, would he have received so much support from any other organization? For sure not. In fact, he first approached Morris Levin and asked who he could go to for help. M. Levin brought him to our orgamization even though he, M. Levin was a member of the “Mohilever Br. Workers ring.” Why? Because in the workers ring with the name Mohilever there are members from other areas in Russia, not just the Mohilever area. Therefore, this Jew would not have attracted attention and interest the way we were able to give it.

I will therefore say to all members for who the old home of Mohilev is precious, you should never let your organization

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Become open to everyone. Our home will need our assistance for a long time and if we do not give it, then who will support them? We are its children. Additionally, no-one knows what can befall a landsman here in the golden America.

Now regarding a second question: One of our young members pretends that he made the organization progressive, radical, this is not entirely correct. Our organization was progressive when it was founded. Our first president was an anarchist. The first, “recording and financial secretary” were socialists, it makes no difference what they are now. Many have done somersaults since then … Also, later we had a president a fiery anarchist our brother Segal. Thus, as you can see our society was full of various viewpoints. And the way it was before is the way it is now. Naturally now there are more viewpoints. It happens often that a socialist wrangles with a communist, so God sent us a “Meyers lunchroom” opposite the hall where we hold our meetings. After the meeting, the socialist and communist go to the lunchroom and make up with a glass of tea. It often happens in this way that a socialist becomes a communist and a communist becomes a socialist. Furthermore, we a brother who argues at every meeting with everyone except the president. He has a nature that is someone says day he says night. Nu, sitting with a cup of tea he once again becomes a friend with everyone that he argued with until the next meeting. That is how we have peace and calm. Splits as they have in the workers ring union or other organizations we don't know about here.

Now, a few words about the Mohilever Brotherhood Workers Ring. Three years ago this workers ring celebrated their 15th anniversary. They gave out a souvenir book in which Dr. Halin wrote how the Brotherhood Was established and for what purpose. Dr. Galin notes there that our association “Brotherhood of Mohilev” was not sufficiently radical, it was orthodox. Therefore, he founded the Workers Ring Brotherhood, where they searched to find an ideological and a radical progressive spirit.

At this opportunity I will say: I do not excuse Dr. Galin who was truly misinformed. When the union was founded, he was not in Chicago. The truth is, that the brotherhood was founded thanks to the Mohilever association, due to a specific incident: 19 years ago, we heard that in Mohilev there were pogroms. One of our members organized a self-defense group. They collected money and sent it to Mohilev in order that they should buy weapons to defend themselves against those making the pogroms. When their purpose was completed there remained members and money. So they began to think what to do. Benenson an active member of the Workers ring, was at the time also a member of the Mohilever guild. In brief the same Benenson used his influence to organize the Mohilever Brotherhood Workers Ring, that exists till now.

Anyway, I want to restate that the Workers ring Brotherhood was not founded because specific members couldn't tolerate the commonplace and conservative spirit that was supposedly permeated the Mohilever guild, and so they went to form something better in the Workers Ring. Take for example, the brothers Sam and Elkas Levin, Max Borod and the writer of the numbers and Dr. Greenspan. They became the members of the Workers Ring Brotherhood. All of them could tolerate the Mohilever guild. They were never terrible revolutionaries and even now are not. If someone was interested in Socialism then he would have joined the socialist party. In truth the members of the Workers Ring were no more or less radical or idealistic than the members of the American brotherhood of Mohilev. When we look through records of the Mohilever guild we see that it contributed to socialistic campaigns and supported strikes. When we found out that

[Page 12]

a member was a scab we suspended him. The difference between our group and the Workers Ring Brotherhood is very small. Maybe just because we do not have an official radical stamp and think that even an orthodox Jew is justified to receive our help when he needs it.

To conclude, I want to welcome all who are marking the 25th year celebration of the Mohilever guild. I hope that we will all live to see the 50th Jubilee year celebration and we will then be able to tell about useful and important accomplishments in the realm of supporting our old home and our support of general Jewish society matters, that will adorn like a crown the existence of our national society of “American brotherhood of Mohilev.”

 


Hirsh Levin,
current president and one of the original founders

 

 

Nathan Kohn,
the first recording secretary
 
Moshe Levin,
the first vice president

 

[Page 13]

Our compatriot association
– this is our letter of our lineage connection in America

Shmuel Niger

Shmuel (Charney) Niger the well-known Jewish critic was born in the year 1884 in Dukora, Minsk area, in a well to do Chassidic family. His initial education was in cheder and later he travelled to Minsk where he learned Gemorah till he was 17. At the same time, he also spent time with general education. His literary activities began in 1906 as an associate worker of the weekly paper “the new way.” S. Niger had previously written unpublished articles in Hebrew and Russian. His first article was titled “The tragedy of golus – exile.” Subsequently he wrote many articles in a variety of literary publications. In the year 1908 he was the publisher and editor of “Monthly Literature writings.” He also wrote for the “tog” in Vilna, “The Friend” the “new Life,” the “Future,” “The Yiddish World” “Life and Science” and wrote and edited an entire line of collector books. The articles were mainly about cultural matters, general current public affairs and critical reviews. From his great works in his initial creative period are critical articles that he became known for about Mendel Moicher Seforim, Sholom Aleichem, Peretz, Pinsky, Raizen, Nomberg, Ash, Veisenberg, Gerkowitch, Yitzchok Ber Levensohn, Shapiro, Bialik, Baal Machashovois and others. In the publishing house of Z. S. Shrebnik was published his two books that were a collection of his finer articles.

Since the year 1911 till now S. Niger who is one of the builders of the Yiddish literature, has edited the lexicon of the Yiddish writer that Zalman Raizen published in the year 1911. Edited the yearbook of the history of Yiddish Literature, language, folklore and bibliography. Edited the monthly journal “Di Yiddishe Velt,” “Di Voch” in Vilna, an anthology in memory of sholom Aleichem in Petersburg, “culture and education” in Moscow, the “new world” in Vilna that was published by the Lithuanian Educational Commissar, and in New York “The new Life” together with Dr. Chaim Zhitlowski and the literature department of “Te-alit.”

A while ago his he was supposed to have been in New York to release his new work “Talks about books” and other matters, but unfortunately the printing was stopped in the middle due to a technical issue of the printing house “Jewish” that had undertaken to print his work.

S. Niger is lately consumed with a greater Literary undertaking, gathering material for a history of Yiddish literature.

S. Niger has been in New York for the last few years where he is a constant associate of the “tog” and is a participant in every important public event of Jewish life, whether it is about literature or general culture and other similar matters.

The Editors

We have a present; we believe that we also have a future in this land; but the source, the deep well, the keeps us spiritual, moral – is not here, it is in the home. And if we want to take root in the new land, they will not be deep enough, they will need to draw sap and life from our old home baths.

The old home – it is not only our past. On it depends our spiritual and also our future. In it lays hidden powers, that are necessary for our spiritual accomplishments here in America.

The old home – she is not only our lineage, she is the well of our hope.

[Page 14]

Why am I saying this? Because the compatriotism, the expression of our bond to the old home, has become too cheap.

A Tzedoko box hangs on the door of our society organizations and with this we think that we have fulfilled our obligation.

They, those back at home, are extremely poor, have become lonely, but God has helped us – we demand of ourselves to help them, the destitute.

We play the role of rich uncle.

Therefore, with pleasure! Our organization is the rich relatives, should for sure give and not just make a big commotion! There is nothing more beautiful then giving. And there is nothing more worthy in in this bitter time, when our brothers live in such dire straits on the other side of the ocean, since World war one.

But – is this not too little? Is this not degrading, a weakening of the precious word home, when all we connect with it, is our imagination of loneliness and poorness? Is there not something more besides need and woes?

Where is the beauty, where is the spiritual wealth, the cleanliness, that more than one of us owned there? Where is the light, that shines through to us here from there in moments of yearning, when we reflect and remind our self of those days, when we learned, studied, were involved in higher matters, prayed with focus, sang heartily or struggled and suffered with childlike joy for freedom and justice? Where are those days and those years? Where did they disappear to? Did they not leave over any feeling?

For sure there are feelings of the beauty, of the rays of light, from the treasures, that were ours not too long ago, just that all the hassles have blocked them from us, doing much harm. The organizations of the brotherhood have to come, as well as other organizations, and drive away the harm, take apart the walls, the barriers that block us from the shine, the light from our spiritual assets.

There must be an end to the delusion that we are the givers, the baal tzedoka – charity givers - and that is all that is required of us. Of course, we can give money, when we want, but what about other matters besides charity? What about the sense of duty, that we owe our poor relative, that is called “spirit of human decency” that has been pushed away from us somewhere in a corner?

Our spiritual is lonely and not attended to, even though it does not scream and call for help, as the screams and call of the material needs of Jews from the other side of the ocean. We would tremble if we would have ears to hear the silence of our current spiritual life. In its silence the pain is deeper than the screams of starving people. Our spirit has already stopped feeling its hunger. It is silent. And this is the worst and most awful thing.

What we need, like air to breathe, is a little appetite for spiritual nourishment.

Awaken the appetite, the hunger of the soul, then the brotherhood organizations would become aware of their light. They just have to create pictures for their members of the spiritual wealth, not just the material needs, that exist on the other side of the sea.

The material needs of our brothers makes us to be givers, the picture of spiritual wealth would kindle in us a desire to become receivers or takers in the spiritual sense, this means simply to want to learn, and to feel bound with Jewish life, spiritual, not just in the form of charity and relief.

We and our domestic brothers are givers and receivers. We have to become partners. To the culture of the old home we will not add, we can only gain from it.

We are proud, that we supported various cultural institutions in Poland, in Lithuania and in Romania. We are allowed to be proud! We can begrudge ourselves to have such institutions! Then we will not only have “earned a mitzvah,” but we will also help ourselves.

They have there, for example, popular universities, various courses for adults,

[Page 15]

Why should our organizations here not have an educational outlook? Is there no-one among the members who would want to remember that which they once learned, or learn something new? Is there no-one who is willing to take some time from the “corner” from the “movies” from the “machine” for a more spiritual pleasure?

There are such people! If not among the older people, those focused on business and mundane, then at least among the youth.

I have had the opportunity to be in “literary clubs” of all different types of brotherhood groups, and I saw, that they come there not just to dance and have a “good time.” People also want to hear a good word and learn something. But the small groups are helpless, they don't have the abilities whether spiritual or material. The large, united brotherhood organizations should come to their aid. They could give the entire cause a great boost. They could make, that it could be with a system and productive.

Why should the large brotherhoods be satisfied with shaking the tzedoka boxes? Why should they not have any greater ambitions, broader programs, long term objectives? Why should they not become the center of a broad purpose culture and building activities?

With this, they would not only bring benefit for Jewish culture and Jewish education in America, but this would also be useful for themselves. Their organization would become stronger, their influence would be more widespread, and their members would be more bound to them, when they would contribute, and the organization would not just take and demand of them.

The Jewish orders, not only such, like the Workers Ring or the national workers union, but also the general orders have begun to involve itself as of late, in building work. Why shouldn't the united compatriots not think about it and pour new burst of life into their organization? They are closer to their members that the other orders, they know them better and it would be easier to adapt to their spiritual needs and requirements.

I mentioned earlier popular universities, courses for adults. But there are other, more important institutions, through which the brotherhood could bond spiritually and morally with their membership and with the entire Jewish people.

There is missing a central Jewish library. There is no museum where memorials can be maintained, the symbols and forms of the old Jewish way of life. There is no archive, where there is being collected all the documents and materials, that are important for the Jewish narrative and history. There is no institution, that concerns itself with the treasures of Jewish folklore, or the creation and development of the Jewish people. There is no fund, that supports Jewish scholars and artists. Jewish painters, Jewish sculptors do not have a place to display their work and show the Jewish public. There is no organization, that will undertake to investigate the economic and social Jewish life in America.

There is lacking a central storage for Jewish books, or an apparatus, that will help disseminate Jewish books and make that it should cost less. There is no-one who can produce the Tanach in Yiddish in a proper manner (The excellent Yiddish Tanach translation of Yeho-osh is currently being published piece by piece int eh “Tog”, but who knows when it will be published as a separate book?). It needs a strong material base and support that is stately, like the Jewish teacher's seminary of New York (228 east Broadway). The Seminary needs to have the means to develop and become that which it wants to become - a Jewish University.

I could determine a long list of cultural works, that are not being done and are very much needed, that they should happen.

[Page 16]

But I do not intent to make a plan for the work. It is not a trick to make plans. What we are lacking is initiative and organization.

The points of Jewish culture work that I mentioned, are only an example that encourages us, no matter how big or dejected! It is our field and our spiritual life.

We definitely have to try and create special organizations, that should undertake to develop this fertile field. But new organizations are not founded so easily. The brotherhood already exists, they have an apparatus, they are connected with thousands and tens of thousands of Jews – why should they not use their organization and their connections for this great cultural work?

The brotherhood often builds synagogues for praying, supports cantors and Rabbis. But we also have a worldly culture, besides the religious. Our worldly culture life and culture creation (our literature, our theater, our music, our paintings and sculptures, our educational institutions) are growing and unfolding. Yet, the masses of folks as well as the broad spectrum of the intelligentsia have not learned how to benefit from it. The middleman is lacking. Why shouldn't the big compatriot groups take on themselves this great appreciative intermediary role?

I hope when I have another opportunity, to discuss with the readers, the special tasks that face the compatriot organizations in the domain of educating Jewish children. This great issue – the greatest and most important of all matters - I did not want to touch just in passing. We have to talk about it on its own. Here I just wanted to set the tone for one of the great Jewish compatriot organizations about the general matter of Jewish buildings and culture activity.

 


Zalman Neimark
current trustee and action person of the society

 

 

Y. Karapof
current recording secretary
 
Meir Rubinstein
current finance secretary

[Page 17]


Hirsh Kohn
current treasurer and active member of the society

 

 

Abe Karasik
conductor
 
Louis Saks
inside guard

 

The closest problems of the Mohilever compatriots

A. Levitan

The union of countrymen played an important role in the life and the development of the Jewish objective in America. The 25th anniversary of a compatriot union is not only a private yom tov of a specific group of people, but, in a particular way, a national event of historic significance. The yom tov of the Mohilever compatriot union must and will, probably interest a broad spectrum of Jewish circles.

The national cultural value of the compatriot guild organization expresses itself in this that it searched for and united those who are widely scattered; it brought together friends, families from the old home, united them among themselves, and everyone together with their hometown and land. In such a way it alleviated some of the difficulties of acclimatization, helping them adapt themselves to settling in their new home. Thanks to the introduction of the traditional local help in strengthening of national solidarity through partaking in the life and shape of those brothers and sisters who remain on the other side of the ocean.

The crucial significance of the compatriotism is the strengthening of the national thread of the entire nation in general. For the existence of the widespread masses, mainly for their cultural development, it is an absolute necessity. A people that in its struggle for its existence over a few thousand years worked out its spiritual physiognomy and its national character. With the journey it amassed a powerful arsenal of durability for its future existence not just spiritual, but even physical. Therefore, a people that is forced to wander from one place to another – looks to maintains all possibilities in the new home, using the old structures of his communal organization.

These possibilities become created only, when scattered individuals are not wandering, but when whole groups of compatriots are together. That is how the first

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immigrants came from Spain and England. They not only travelled in organized groups, but already from the first journey took their religious and spiritual leaders. Therefore, in their new home they were successful in maintaining their political and national organization, and able to impose this organization on the whole American continent.

We know for example that America, just like Europe, has on its soil hundreds of nationalisms. Among them strong nations with old well known historic and developed culture. Not less than the famous and developed ones like the English and Spanish. Nevertheless, in the entire America only two languages and cultures dominate: English in North America and Spanish in South America. The other nations – Italians, Germans, Russians, Jews, Greeks, and other nationals with rich cultures find themselves in a spiritual exile by these two nations – the Spanish and English. Not looking at the fact that the Germans who are advance ed, Italians, Jews who came with the in the first immigrants and played an important part in the development of the land and in the fight for its freedom. The Italians as every schoolboy knows were the first to open America and brought for it the greatest sacrifices.

This is because, the two nations, the Spanish and English came to America as mentioned in strong organized national groups; they used all opportunities to maintain and plant here their national culture. The other national groups ran here in widely scattered bunches and only invested themselves in daily material existence.

Therefore, we see in America such a beautiful contribution, that we do not see in any other land or in any other part of the globe. Europe is much smaller than America and yet every European would consider it nonsense that they would institute on this continent only two languages; that one people would want to force its language and culture on other nations. Naturally till the last World War and the revolutions, that broke out in its wake, there was a mandate in specific lands by specific nations. Like for example the Czarist government wanted to with force Russify other nations that were under its control. The Germans tried to force Germanization on the Polish inhabitants in the provinces that fell under its authority after the unsuccessful Polish insurrection. But they were not successful.

The World War and the thoughts of those who started it was supposed to serve the raw instincts of national and cultural reverse resolutions. The revolutions after the war freed all the previous oppressed enslavement. It brought to nations even the Russian revolution that should have been a socialist revolution and it became a national revolution. Russia became a true international union of a freed nation. There is now occurring a powerful movement of revival and unfolding of their language and culture.

If in America the students would fight for freedom, real freedom, then the freedom would have to be not just an economic freedom from work from under capitalist control; not just a political freedom of the masses of people from the shackles of certain politicians, but also a national freedom, this means, freedom from cultural enslavement nationalists, to go back on their right on their language and culture. The time is closer than we can comprehend. America has no other principles for its historic development like Europe. For specific reasons, the process of economic, political and national freedom can happen here with delay, but happen it must.

This process will come quicker and have a greater effect with groups of people in America who staunchly maintain the national organization. Compatriot oneness is the circle in the chain of our national union.

But just like without each individual ring the complete chain cannot be made, so every ring has a worth, when it is locked with another

[Page 19]

ring when it goes in as an inseparable part of the entire chain.

Our compatriot union could not till now have the power that belongs according to their numbers and cultural significance in the land, because they are singular groups of individuals. These organizations are not bound by a federation. What is needed now is a federation association of all compatriot guilds.

This process in on the daily agenda. As is known it is being activated now with a conference of all compatriot organizations about creating a federation unity and a long list of other problems that come with united bonding. The conference will probably happen soon.

The Mohilever compatriot union can in this early moral process play a distinct and important role. As is known we have a complete array of divisions of compatriot organizations: the Ukrainians, the Polish, the Galitzianer, Romanians, and others. The Russian Jews refers to the Jews who came from the colonies, that now belong to Soviet Russia, are unfortunately not organized.

This is now the task of Mohilever compatriot guild organization.

The problem is twofold: First create a federation of Soviet Russian compatriots, then of the entire Soviet Russian Federation, connecting with all other federations in an all-Jewish national corporation.

 

  Monya Shapatkin (by Meir in restaurant) “you ate – be so good and give a half dollar, in about two weeks we will have a meeting and Meir will yet have here the restaurant.

 

Aphorisms

Y. Skolnik

No matter how close we will come to the properties of nature, we will never be able to reach the mystery of nature.

The base of nature is the secret of nature.

Knowledge concerns itself more with the secret of life; Philosophy concerns itself more with the point of life.

We are children of nature and still we know so little about our mother nature.

People do not yet know how to live and already want to know the secret of life.

The more we become familiarized with nature, the less we believe in the supernatural.

We can maybe change nature but not subdue it.

Physical fruit is created through nature, spiritual fruit with the quality of its produce.

The physical is connected more with nature; the spiritual is more connected with culture.

That which does not belong to the side of the Creator of the world, nature is truly a wonder. That which does not belong the lucky side of life, should stay with its first raw great power.

 

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