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Chapter Thirteen – Radomsk in the World

The Nowo-Radomsker Society in the United States of America

By Dovid Koniecpoler

Photo caption: Dovid Koniecpoler

Until the Beginning of the First World War

By the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, Jewish Radomsk totaled almost eight thousand souls. Thanks to the industrial enterprises where several thousand Polish workers were employed, the Jewish storekeepers and craftsmen were able to earn their wages. They also served thousands of Hasidim traveling to the rebbes, during the year and particularly during the Days of Awe. There were also several bigger wholesale businesses that served the poorer, smaller villages and shtetlech.

With the natural increase in the number of workers, the above mentioned jobs were not enough for all, and many searched for help in emigration. At the end of the 19th century, a small group of Nowo-Radomsker Jews was already found among the large number of the estranged in New York, with a great longing for their old home city.

On the 6th of February 1898, the founding meeting of the group of landsleit (countrymen) took place in the apartment of Shlomoh Zilberszatz (Samuel Silverschatz*) with the participation of Mordekhai Grosberg (Morris Grossberg), Yakob-Yosef Litman (Jacob J. Litman), Yakob Bursztein (Jacob Burstein), Neiman Eikhner (Nathan Eichner), Sam Litman, Moishe Neisztadt (Morris Neistadt), Heiman Rotsztein (Hyman Rothstein), H. Fein (Pine), M. Beser (Besser), Abe Kurcz (Kurtz), Moricz Granek (Morris Granick), Sam Tyl (Teil), M. Winer (Weiner), Y. Cymberg (I. Cymberg), Chaim Watrowski (Hyman Viatrofsky) and Sam Kurcz (Kurtz). It was then decided to establish the Nowo-Radomsker Sick Benefit Organization. Every Radomsker landsman (and landsman from towns in the vicinity) could join the organization with the payment of dues of one dollar. By the second meeting additional landsleit became members, and likewise at all subsequent meetings.

(Translator’s note: The anglicized spellings are taken from "The Nowo-Radomsker Almanac, 1899-1939 Jubilee Edition.")

The first request to the organization for support came from the Czenstochower* Hachen Soifer, and it received the requested two-dollar benefit.

(Translator’s note: This transliteration of the Yiddish spelling of the city of Czestochowa is being used to reflect the Yiddish pronunciation.)

At the third meeting (the 27th of February 1898), it was decided to engage a doctor for the organization to provide medical help for the members.

Because of the small number of Nowo-Radomskers in New York, it was decided to accept members from other cities in Poland. On the 21st of May 1901, the organization had 46 members.

After the first three years of the existence of the organization, it was decided to expand the activities in several directions. It was decided with the payment of yearly dues, to join with the Austrian Hebrew Charity Association, which had a medical center for poor sick Jews (Dr. Sendelman was elected as delegate).

In 1902-1905 the membership of the organization grew, and it expanded its activities to include meeting with other landsmanshaftn and their institutions. There was support for several friendly organizations and successful theater benefits were held, which brought in significant amounts of money. Many members of the organization were already American citizens, and this had a marked effect on the organization in general.

Photo caption: The emblem of the Society

Assistance for needy members was widely expanded. The organization tried to provide help to every needy member in every form. In general the members were like one friendly family. When someone had a happy occasion, everyone rejoiced; and when, G-d forbid, there was bad luck, everyone shared in the grief. The landsmanshaft was literally an island of intimate familiar friends in greater New York, who cared for the needy in every place and contingency.

The events in the old home, in the greater Russian Empire in general and particularly in Poland, naturally had a strong influence on the organization. The Russo-Japanese War strongly affected emigration to America, including from Nowo-Radomsk. When the large group of Jews came, they found an address to which they could turn. Everything was done to facilitate arrangements for them based on the opportunities then available.

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Photo caption: [Some of] the First Radomsker Emigrants in New York

[On the right] Aron Gliksman (1904) [On the left] Shlomoh (Sol) Greenberg (1905)
[Bottom] Wolf Dikerman (1906)

The Revolution of 1905 broke out in Russia and its suppression was accompanied by an outburst of pogroms against the Jews. The organization, which distinguished itself with its attention to social and political life in general, decided in a session on the 21st of November 1905 to support the Relief Fund and help the victims of the Russian pogroms with a sum of forty dollars ($15 from the organization’s cash box and $25 from a special members’ assessment).

On the first of May 1906, a special committee was created with the charge of working out a plan for a ‘sick benefit.’ At that time, the organization possessed $578, and the establishment of a Help-Fund for needy members was proposed. A short time later it was decided that the ‘sick benefit’ should start to function in August 1906, and to that end each member was assessed one dollar.

Various landsmanshaftn (such as the Lodzers and others) created special aid committees to support the revolutionary movement in Poland. The Nowo-Radomsker organization supported all the committees with significant contributions and, in general, the organization helped every institution that solicited monetary help.

On the 3rd of September 1907, it was decided that the organization would assume a yearly assessment for the Hebrew Immigrant Society.

It was decided on the 18th of January 1908 that the Nowo-Radomsker organization would buy a cemetery (a plot for a besoylem [cemetery]) and a special committee was established to realize the project. On the 3rd of March 1908 the first death occurred, that of the wife of Brother Max Winer, and the organization participated in giving her last honors, with two groups as a proper delegation to the funeral.

On the 22nd of July 1908, it was decided to call a special meeting of women members to create a women’s organization. By the 18th of August 1908, the first delegates from the newly created women’s organization appeared at a general meeting and promised to help the men’s organization with its activities.

On the 4th of August 1908, a decision was made that the organization would join the newly established Association of Russian-Polish Jews, with yearly dues of $10 (Brothers M. Grosberg and D. Ziskind were elected as the delegates to the Association).

On the 2nd of November 1909, it was decided to support the Retail Dry Goods Clerks Union with a collection of money for their strike. The appeal of Reverend Tsvi-Hirsz Moslianski to support the Denver Sanitarium was accepted; it was decided to contribute $10 and to join the Sanitarium with a yearly contribution.

Assistance to members was expanded in 1910. Help was given in the amounts of $10, $15, $25 and in very special circumstances even $100. At that time, a larger strike by the garment workers occurred; the striking members of the organization were exempted from membership contributions.

A special Loan Fund was established in 1914, which gave every member the right to a loan. The importance of the Loan Fund was that a member could obtain a loan and pay it back according to his ability.

On the Threshold of the Twentieth Anniversary

When the First World War broke out, and a wall of fire and blood stood between the organization and the home city Nowo-Radomsk, the landsman trembled over the fate of those close to them. By November 1914, the Radomsker organization had already called a mass meeting at which they created a Relief Committee for the Jews in Radomsk. In the first years of the war every connection with Poland, in general, and Radomsk, in particular, was cut off, and the Committee reduced its activity. It was in March 1916 that a group of members (Sam Szmerling and Harry Gliksman at the head) first decided to send $200 to Radomsk. The sum was received by the leading warden of the synagogue of the community in Radomsk, Mr. Fiszel Dunski.

With this campaign the Nowo-Radomsker organization in New York concluded a grand chapter in its activities of organizing mutual assistance for immigrants, enabling them to acclimate themselves to the specific situation in America at that time. The Radomsker Jew was accustomed to seeing himself as a member of his city’s organized community, which had created – for better or worse – necessary institutions such as synagogues, prayer and study houses, cemeteries, etc. But in its new home in the great shmaltz-tup (‘land of plenty’) that is called New York, the organization had to newly build and organize. The Nowo-Radomsker organization strove with all its fervor to

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create and open a new chapter in the history of its work.

In 1917, the first news arrived about wounded Radomsker landsleit in the American Army: Brothers Foirs, Grosberg, and Abraham Soberman and later, Sam Gold and Max Goldberg. A committee of members B. Bialik, Sam Szmerling and M. Goldberg maintained written connections with the wounded and took care of all of their needs. In addition to the special Soldiers Fund for this purpose, a fund of $500 was also created for later support for the wounded Radomsker brothers after their return from the American Army.

The organization contributed (at the same time) $50 for the Jewish Welfare Fund and bought Liberty Bonds worth $400.

On the 7th of December 1918, the organization decided – at the request of the People’s Relief Committee – to support all Jewish war victims, and $100 dollars was given for this purpose.

In April 1918, the Radomsker Ladies Society celebrated its 10th anniversary. Then news came from Poland, which was in the first honeymoon of its independence, of pogroms in several cities. Under the leadership of a specially created committee, the whole organization took part in a giant protest demonstration of American Jewry (the 21st of May 1919) and donated an appropriate monetary contribution.

Mendel Besser of blessed memory, the meritorious chairman of the Cemetery Committee, died in 1919, and Aron Gliksman was elected in his place. At that time the organization had sections of its own in two cemeteries: Mount Sinai (sic) with 8 plots and Mount Hebron with 16 plots. (Translator’s note: There is no Mount Sinai listed among the cemeteries in the New York metropolitan area; the Nowo-Radomsker Society does have a section in Mount Zion.)

On the 21st of December 1919, the 20th anniversary of the organization was celebrated with a beautiful banquet. The organizing committee of the banquet included as chairman, Chaim-Moishe Grosberg, vice-chairman W. Witrofski and Secretary R. Kreitzberg. A whole row of delegates from other landsmanshaftn greeted the organization, and the intense activity of its meritorious members during the twenty years of its existence was celebrated, especially that of Aron Gliksman.

All Aspects of Financial Support and Communal Activities

With the 20th anniversary of the Radomsker organization in New York, its structure, its direction and its objective were changed. Life itself and the bitter lot of those still in Radomsk had dictated this: that Jews who left Radomsk and settled down in America, the greatest and freest country, should take upon themselves the burden of helping their parents, brothers, sisters and, in general, the local Jewish population remaining in Radomsk.

On the 17th of February 1920, members Aron and Philip Gliksman proposed that the organization establish its own Relief Fund. A mass meeting of Radomsker landsleit in America was held on the 21st of February 1920 for this purpose, about which we read in ‘Almanac’ (Translator’s note: the program for the 40th anniversary banquet) the following:

‘This meeting will surely remain historic in the history of our relief activities. There was a mood of tension in the hall; everyone felt responsible for nothing having been done for our home city. The speakers who expressed themselves at the meeting took it upon themselves to create sympathy. Everyone was filled with the adesire to make good that which had been neglected until today.’

Photo caption: The organizing committee in 1916:

First row – Standing (from the right): M. Zilberman, Gold, M. Goldberg, A. Z. Zoberman. S. Szlamkowicz
Second row: L. Weiskopf, M. Goldman, B. Szlamkowicz, A. Banas, Ch. Witrofski, Ch. Bandstein, F. Gliksman
Sitting: J. Bergstein, Sz. Szmerling, Chaim-Moishe Grosberg, Antingos, M. Besser, Feiwlowicz, H. Gliksman

At the meeting a sum of $132 was raised and a special committee was elected under the chairmanship of Philip Brakhman and [with] Morris Schwartz as secretary. The Committee was supposed to undertake a large relief campaign; unfortunately, there was great disappointment when all calls for contributions by the committee were as a ‘cry in the desert.’ Later, a younger group of activists joined and the activities and support of the Relief Committee increased. The group was made up of Paul Rubin, Morris Schwartz, Max Shapiro and other members. The first collection brought in $150. Sol Greenberg donated $50 and, on the 12th of March 1920, $200 was sent to Radomsk. On the 4th of April 1920, at a special Relief meeting, the sum of $300 was raised, which was immediately sent to Radomsk. The same month $700 was collected and quickly sent to Radomsk.

Elections to the Relief Committee were held on the 19th of June 1920, and Chaim-Moishe Grosberg, Paul Rubin and Morris Schwartz were elected.

On the 4th of February 1921, $300 was sent to Radomsk for Passover.

In addition, during the above mentioned months the organization created a credit union, which began to function on the 16th of April 1921 with the granting of interest-free loans to members.

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On the 4th of June 1921 the Relief Committee decided to establish an interest-free loan office in Radomsk, and Brother Sol Greenberg committed himself to doubling every contribution made for this purpose.

In 1920, the Zionist Revival Fund, ‘Keren Ha-Yesod,’ was established. Members Harry Fishman, P. Gliksman and A. Feiwlowicz were delegated to represent the Radomsker organization at a conference of Keren Ha-Yesod called by the Federation of Polish Jews in America. The organization took a considerable part in the Keren Ha-Yesod campaign (the Radomsker Society donated at that time $1,234 to Keren Ha-Yesod), and thereby strengthened the National-Zionist consciousness of our landsleit in America.

At the end of January 1921, it was decided that the organization would support the activities of the composer Bensman, who earlier was the conductor and musical leader of the Hazomir (Choir) in Radomsk.

On the 21st of January 1922, it was decided to send $100 to the orphanage in Radomsk named for Dr. Mitlman. Simultaneously it was decided to support the HIAS (Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) Campaign with $100, in faithfulness to the principle of the [Nowo-Radomsker] organization to participate with counsel and deed in every communal campaign of American Jewry. It was decided in March 1922 to support HIAS’s ‘$5,000,000 Campaign’ with another $200. At the same time, each member of the organization was assessed $3 for the Interest-Free Loan Office in Radomsk. On the 16th of September 1922, it was decided to send another $300 to Radomsk for interest-free loans. After that, the report that was received from Radomsk was full of optimism. The same month $50 was appropriated for the ‘People’s Relief.’

The Society carried on redoubled [and] vigorous internal activity besides the Credit-Union, Cemetery and other campaigns for assistance for individuals and the community at large; theater benefits and community entertainment events were very often arranged, which brought in significant income. This enabled the organization to take part in the various national, community and philanthropic campaigns of American Jewish institutions with greater material backing, together with wider backing for Radomsk.

On the 17th of February 1923, approval was given to send $200 for moes-khitim [to provide Passover needs to the poor] for Passover, and an additional $300 [was sent] with Brother Flakowicz, who was traveling to Radomsk for a visit. On the 25th of March 1923, at a ‘reception-meeting’ after his return from Radomsk, Member Flakowicz reported on the situation. He described the sad condition of the Jews in Radomsk and appealed for an increase of assistance for our brothers there. It was immediately decided to send $100 for furniture for the orphanage and a decision was made to undertake wider activity for further support of the city.

From the start of ‘Relief’ (March 1920) up to March 1924, a total of $2300 was sent to Radomsk in addition to the private support that was encouraged by the organization.

The 30th and 40th Anniversaries

After the First World War a very significant number of the young Jews in Radomsk emigrated, some to Eretz Yisroel and some to America. The latter were [readily absorbed by the organization] in New York through the [work of its] devoted community-minded workers.

In 1921 Ezekiel Rudnitsky [arrived in the United States]. Since 1926 he has been one of the active Society members, later the president of the organization.

Shlomoh Epsztein arrived in 1921. He immediately became an active and dear worker for Radomsker ‘Relief’ in New York.

Photo Caption: Emigrants of the Twenties

Top right: Shlomoh Epsztein (1921) Left: Ezekiel Rudnitsky
Middle right: Ezekiel Pacanowski (1923) Left: Dovid Lefkowicz
Bottom right: Fiszel Gliksman (1924) Left: Pinye Kalka (1925)

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In 1923, Ezekiel Pacanowski arrived. He is one of the later prominent and devoted volunteers with the organization [and] long time secretary, including [during] the era of the tragic extermination of our people.

Dovid Lefkowicz arrived in 1923. He is one of the later activists and president of the Society.

Fiszel Gliksman arrived in 1924. He transferred his quiet and virtuous community work in Radomsk to America and the ‘Relief’ had in him a dear member.

The Radomsker community worker Pinye Kalka was introduced to the organization in 1925. He became one of the most devoted members of the Radomsker organization in New York.

In 1925, the organization organized medical and hospital assistance for the members, which at that time was a difficult problem in the United States in general and for new immigrants in particular.

On the 20th of October 1925, one of the most devoted brothers, former president Chaim-Moishe Grosberg died.

On the 6th of February 1926, $1000 was urgently sent to Radomsk, including $200 for matzohs for the poor population.

On the 20th of March 1926, the organization arranged a solemn reception for the writer H. D. Nomberg, who described the sad situation of the Jews in Poland in general and in Radomsk in particular. On the spot, a total of $370 was collected and immediately sent to Radomsk. At the end of 1927, the organization held a mournful meeting after the sudden death of writer H. D. Nomberg, of blessed memory.

In December 1924, the organization celebrated its 25th anniversary. Under the leadership of Brother Harry B. Israel, the organization celebrated its 30th anniversary in December 1929.

On the 18th of July 1931, it was decided to create a fund of $1000 which would enable [the organization] to fulfill the large number of requests for support from members in need or ill.

In September 1931, Pinkus Kalka gave a report on his trip to Radomsk and Eretz Yisroel, and described the activity and hard struggle of the Jews in Poland in general and in Radomsk in particular.

In the years 1931 to 1933 there was limited activity from both the ‘Relief" and the Society. Brother Harry Fishman took over (for the first time) the presidency and promised to revive the activities [of the Society]. He also wanted to reactivate the Women’s Section.

In April 1933, the organization took part in a large protest demonstration against Hitlerism and joined in the boycott against German goods.

A ‘Radomsker Aid Organization’ was established in 1934 to support Polish prisoners and victims of Polish Fascism, assisting the prisoners with lawyers and monetary help.

Photo caption:

(On the left) Harry Epsztein
(On the right) Ph. Flakowicz

In 1936, a greeting was sent to Radomsk for the 25th anniversary celebration of the ‘poor people’s inn’ with a present of $50.

On the 15th of February 1936, the organization sent a protest telegram to the Polish Ambassador in America, against the persecution by the Polish regime of Polish Jews. Later a protest conference was organized through the Radomsker organization in New York (the 5th of April 1936) with the participation of 400 delegates from 180 different organizations (the Jewish General People’s Committee Against the Persecution of Jews in Poland was later created [as a result of] the conference).

The 40th anniversary of the organization occurred in 1939, under the leadership of Brother Ezekiel Rudnitsky. On the solemn [occasion recognition was made of] the distinct contributions of Brothers Moishe-Chaim Grosberg, Philip Lager, Abraham Haber, Saul Greenberg, Harry Sedletski, Mendel Goldman, Moishe Lewkowicz, Aron Gliksman, Morris Schwartz, Fiszel Gliksman, Ezekiel Pacanowski, Pinye Kalka, Ezekiel Rudnitsky, Leon Ellenberg, Dovid Lefkowicz, Karl Ellenberg and many others.

In the special ‘Almanac’ published for the 40th anniversary, it was said:

‘We close our 40th anniversary of communal activity as a united family. We open a new chapter in the life of our organization with the knowledge that we are a part of the great dynamic strength of American Jewry, which stands at the present moment ready to defend and protect our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted in various parts of the world.’

In connection with the 40th anniversary, Dr. Sz. Margoszes wrote in ‘DER TOG,’

‘Forty years is a long time in the life of every organization, particularly in the life of a landsmanshaft organization here in this country. You have helped every national Jewish organization impartially and without too much publicity. Your hands should be strengthened.’

Hillel Ranak of the FORVERTS writes:

‘The Nowo-Radomsker Society belongs to every group [of] Jewish landsmanshaft organizations that unite Jewish America with Jewish life in other countries, especially with the large Jewish settlement in Palestine. I know that you are one of the first to speak up about every important Jewish undertaking here in this country and in other countries. You are united with such aid organizations as ORT, Hadassah, Polish Union and so on. At the present time this is the

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(Translator’s Note: Page in English from ‘Almanac’ from the 40th anniversary}

Golden Jubilee




{On the left} (On the right)

Photo caption: Memorial Page to the memory of the six fallen Radomsker sons who gave their lives in the holy struggle against the German enemy during the Second World War (from the Golden Anniversary Journal 1899-1949)

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most important work that organized Jews can do here in this country. I congratulate you for your beautiful past and wish you a more beautiful future.’

During the Second World War

Jewish Radomsk felt the dark and tragic situation of murder, looting and persecution on the first day of the war. The Radomsker Society in New York immediately proceeded with an organized aid campaign. First, food packages were sent to Radomsk for families and individuals whose addresses were known by ‘Relief.’ The sending of food packages was also organized for a general Jewish aid campaign for Jews who had unexplainably succeeded in fleeing from Poland to Russia. Later the Radomsker organization in New York proceeded to establish a ‘ten-thousand dollar fund’ for the Radomsker Jews who would survive after the war. Toward that end, on the 27th of February 1943, at a banquet at member Siedletski’s [home], $2500 was collected (Sol Greenberg. Siedletski, and others contributed large sums for this purpose).

Seventy-eight children of Radomsker landsleit registered for the American army for the struggle with Hitler’s Germany. Of those, six fell in the campaign against the dark enemy:

  1. Paul Dikman
  2. Aleks Heiman
  3. Benny Rubin
  4. Joseph Hertzberg
  5. Alvin Niremberg
  6. Manny Shapiro

In the course of the long Second World War, Radomsker ‘Relief’ sent everything that was necessary to all members or children of members in the American army. With Sol Greenberg at the head, a special committee was created for this purpose with the participation of Harry Israel, Witrofski, Dovid Lefkowicz, Rudnitsky, Kalka, Pacanowski, Siedletski, Heiman, and others. It was decided to distribute $25 to each returning Radomsker soldier and Sol Greenberg supplemented this $25 with [an additional] $25.

For the Holocaust Survivors

In 1945, immediately after the Nazi defeat, the organization let both American and other newspapers know that all surviving landsleit should immediately contact [the Society] and it would assist them in every way. Thousands of packages of food and clothing flowed to the various German camps and to all cities in Poland where Radomskers found themselves. To assist the disadvantaged Jewish community in Radomsk, $800 was sent for the local remaining individual Jews.

After the war Radomsker Jews were grouped in Germany in camps: Landsberg, Widn Feldafing, Zislheim [and] Radomsker refugees were also concentrated in Austria, France, Italy and Sweden. Thousands of thank you letters from innumerable camps and from Sweden, Belgium, the Soviet Union, China, and Cyprus were received for the food and clothing packages, money and medicine and, in individual cases, also automobiles and travel expenses that the organization had sent. Some tens of thousands of dollars for support was distributed at the time thanks to the indescribable effort of the devoted ‘social workers’ M. Sz. Epsztein, Pacanowski, Rudnitsky, Kalka, D. Lefkowicz and others in the Society and ‘Relief.’ They were not just dedicated to the difficult work of raising money, but packed the food and clothing packages themselves, answered thousands of letters, etc.

During a farewell banquet in honor of the untiring ‘Relief’ leader and President Harry Rudnitsky before his trip to Israel (in 1952), the first sum of $1500 was collected to build a ‘people’s house’ in Israel in the name of the Radomsker martyrs. During a dinner for Harry Rudnitsky in Israel, it was decided to establish an interest-free loan office in Israel, and, after his return, Harry Rudnitsky brought this decision to be discussed for a vote by the Society. The Society immediately sent $1500 to Israel for that purpose (including a $300 donation from Harry Rudnitsky).

At the same time, the Society supported general American aid institutions such as Russian War Relief, the Red Cross, British War Relief, United War Relief, United Jewish Appeal, Red Mogen Dovid, Histadrut Campaign and other funds (for all of this support the organization donated ten thousand dollars).

Brother Ezekiel Rudnitsky visited Israel at the time when Radomsker landsleit survivors began arriving there. It was decided that the local interest-free loan office should be greatly expanded, and for that purpose, (on the initiative of Brothers Rudnitsky, Pacanowski and Epsztein) a total of $2672 was collected. Alas, at that time the devoted Brother Shlomoh Epsztein died, and a decision was made to name the interest-free loan office in Tel Aviv after him.

The 50th Anniversary

Besides the gigantic aid work for concentration camp survivors, the Society continued with its usual local work in all areas of cultural, societal and communal activities.

The Society assisted the Radomsker writer Sarah Hamer-Jaklin in publishing her books ‘Lives and Shapes’ (1946) and ‘Descent and Silence’ (1954).

At the end of 1949 the 50th anniversary of the Society was celebrated. Edited by Friend Pinye Kalka, a beautiful Yiddish-English journal was published in which the editor writes:

‘We have passed fifty years of hard effort and work to better Jewish lives in general, raised thousands of dollars for the Palestine Foundation Fund, helped with great assistance all of our national Jewish organizations, given ourselves with love and life to help the concentration camp survivors of the greatest

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destruction of world Jewry, stood with equals in the great struggle in order to support with all of our strength our just Jewish struggles. How can we keep quiet at such a golden opportunity as a 50th anniversary and not remember the sincere beloved ‘people’ people who gave their time, money and health for the survival of the Jewish people? A Society with such rich tradition and such devoted patriots as Brother Sol Greenberg, whose spirit and soul are permeated with the deep suffering of the poor, needy people. Let us remember: the Siedletski family which made itself so beloved because of its sincere good deeds for Radomsker ‘Relief,’ the distinguished Max Dikerman, Brothers Moishe Lewkowicz, Aron Gliksman, Harry Fishman, Kalman Rotsztein, Fiszel Gliksman and other dear brothers whose spirited good deeds were also [important], for the great victory for Israel.’

In a second spot in the above-mentioned journal we read:

‘Let us today with our celebration demonstrate our great joy for our luck that we were destined to live to see the rebirth of our Jewish nation after two thousand years of enslavement, pain and persecution. Let the great joyous moment strengthen our hands and encourage us all to further necessary aid for our landsleit to heal the difficult wounds of our dreadful tragedy [as a people].’

The Society was the first American landsmanshaftn that warmly supported every campaign for Israel. With the help of active devoted members in Israel, two houses were successfully built in Holon for our new immigrants to Israel ($15,000 dollars was sent for that purpose). Unfortunately, the campaign of both the Society and the members in Israel produced much grief because we could not satisfy all demands with the eight apartments that we had built.

Photo caption: The Arrangements Committee at the 50th Anniversary (1949)

Sitting from the left:
I. Pacanowski, D. Lefkowicz, H. Sedletski, H. B. Israel, S. Schwartz, I. Kasoy, P. Kalka

Second row from the left:
I. Witrofski, H. Huberman, P. Knopf, Al. Heiman, G. A. Cymberg, A. Haber, Sz. Epsztein, M. Selkowicz

On top from the left:
Ch. Witrofski, M. Shapiro, Ch. Rudnitsky, A. Kraus.

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Photo captions:

Top photo:
We drink ‘Lechayim’ in the house of Pacanowski (New York) in honor of the laying of the foundation stone for the two houses in Israel (December 1951)

Bottom photo:
During the construction of the two houses in Holon named after Sol Greenberg, of Blessed memory.


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After two intense years of work a noticeable tiredness and standstill in the Society became apparent. Then veterans such as Ezekiel Pacanowski, Ezekiel Rudnitsky, Dovid Lefkowicz, Leon Ellenberg and others warmly took up the call of the Radomskers in Israel about helping to publish a Yizkor Book to the memory of the Radomsker Jewish Community.

Ezekiel Rudnitsky He dedicated many years and health to his beloved organization and great is his list of activities in the Society and in ‘Relief.’

Dovid Lefkowicz He is the long-time president of the Society and ‘Relief’ and he worked tirelessly for their development. Unlimited are his efforts in the great aid work for our Society and ‘Relief,’ for the heavily victimized landsleit of the ‘Hitler terror’ who survived, and for the immortalizing of our martyrs.

Herszel Epsztein His communal-socialist past in Radomsk did not permit him to rest until he organized a landsleit organization in 1944 in the city in which he lived, Los Angeles. Very involved and colorful in his activities. [He was] always the first to volunteer and to inspire others to the purpose. A particular feature of his activity is the work for Eretz Yizroel, [his activity] in trade-union campaigns and the like.

During a long week the writer of these lines became familiar with the archive of the Radomsker landsleit in New York and was sincerely overwhelmed by the many-faceted organizational and intellectual strengths that were shown there by his young friends from Nowo-Radomsk. ‘As a golden rope stretches itself,’ their activity was accompanied by a strong wish to help the surviving Jews in Radomsk. While the need to assist their members in rich New York, both materially and socially, was still present, they always [accepted] the duty to assist the surviving Jews in Radomsk in building up their local institutions that would help with the local requirements.

The readiness and dedication to help at the time of tragedy for our people was particularly evident, while working-people rose to impressive heights at this time. Not only were tens of thousand of dollars collected, but they themselves packed and sent aid packages accompanied by the warmest feelings and blessings to all places where a surviving Radomsker landsleit was found.

The positive activity in general national Jewish life in America should also be stressed. The warm response of the local press towards this activity is the best evidence that our landsleit there, with their unassuming aid, contributed moreover [a great deal].

Photo caption:

During the Celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Society (1958)

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Noworadomsker Society and Noworadomsker Relief Organization
Dedicated to the Martyrs from our
Home City Noworadomsk.

Worthy Landsleit and Friends:

It is already five years since Hitler’s assassins started the terrible slaughter of our dearest and most beloved grandfathers and grandmothers, our fathers and mothers, our sisters and brothers, our cousins, and other family members, close comrades, neighbors and good friends.

How can we forget the great disaster [which befell] our tender, dear souls, young and old who were bound with us by thousands of threads?

Therefore we must with all of our landsmanshaft strength see to the maintenance of the eternal sentiment, that we owe it to our dearest martyrs never to forget. Eighteen thousand Radomsker souls were murdered by Hitler’s gangs.

Therefore it was decided to dedicate a special spiritual memorial evening in honor of the fallen martyrs. It is our human duty to attend this sorrowful evening, which is called for on the same day for all Radomsker landsleit spread all over the world:

Saturday evening, the 18th of October, 8 o’clock
in Yorkville Temple, 157 East 86th Street, New York

We will have with us the first landsman to arrive, Dr. Weinapel, and he will share with us his experiences, how he saved our Radomsker landsleit from a certain death.

We will also present some of the first returning landsleit survivors who are already in America, and in their honor refreshments will be presented.

We appeal to every one of our landsleit and friends not to miss this important, solemn occasion. An important program for such an evening has been prepared.

A famous cantor will recite the El Maleh Rachamin (the memorial prayer for the dead) and our landsfrou Teinsky will read recitations.

A new list of survivors will be read.

Sol Greenberg, Honorary Chairman

        P. Kalka, Treasurer

Dave Lefkowitz, Pres. of the Society

        Ezekiel Pacanowski, Secretary
Harry Siedletsky, Vice President and Cashier

Wm. Oberman

Photocopy of the appeal for the 5th anniversary after the liquidation of the Radomsker Ghetto (1946)

p. 511

Photo caption: Ezekiel [Harry] Pacanowski, of blessed memory

p. 511

Ezekiel [Harry] Pazanowsky, the only son of his parents Yitzhak and Feigele, inherited from them a quietness and gentleness and a constant readiness to help others.

He was a child of another generation that exemplified the idealistic traits of communal, social and cultural life, a generation to whom the concepts of selfishness and cruelty were foreign. Therefore, his heart bled so when he witnessed how much brutality was committed against mankind, in general, and in relation to his Jewish people, in particular.

Immediately after the First World War, when Ezekiel Pacanowski discovered the problems of Workers’ Zionism, he decided to leave his parents and family and his beloved home and travel to Eretz Yisroel. No work was too difficult for him; he never complained about the difficult living conditions in Eretz Yisroel. Personal reasons propelled him to travel temporarily to America (New York) and Ezekiel Pacanowski remained in America, building a family there and dedicating his whole energy and culture and knowledge to the organization of the Radomsker landsleit in all its areas of activity.

For more than twenty years he remained an active worker in the society and its branches and relief work. As secretary he was the living nerve [center] of the work, organizing not only the wider activities of the organization in America, but particularly the charitable work for his birthplace Radomsk. In the period of the Second World War, a greater burden lay on him; he [was] devoted to his charitable work as secretary, day and night, in the literal sense. He read the hundreds of letters from our refugees and immediately answered all of them. Together with other leaders, he packed thousands of packages of food and clothing and sent them to many parts of the world.

Ezekiel Pacanowski took a very large part in the preparation of the Yizkor Book that the landsleit in Israel undertook to publish. He came to see with his own eyes the surviving landsleit who emigrated to the Land of Israel and their way of life. In 1961 he visited Israel with his wife and acquainted himself with all of the problems [of the landsleit], and particularly with the preparation of the Yizkor Book.

Returning home, he put more energy into his work, paying no attention to his weakened health, until the good heart of this rare, dear person stopped forever in September 1963.

p. 512

Shlomoh (Sol) Greenberg, of Blessed memory

This is the place for a special remembrance of Sol Greenberg, of Blessed memory, the ‘man of the people’ whose only purpose in life was to help needy people. He always helped both Jews and non-Jews with the same readiness. But his dedication to his town of birth, Radomsk, had no boundaries. He didn’t have millions, only a particularly warm heart that never

Photo caption:

Shlomoh (Sol) Greenberg reading the certificate from K.K.L. (the Jewish National Fund) about the planting in his name of 18 (chai) trees through Radomsker Urgun in Israel.

counted what others gave, but was always ready to donate still more.

In 1958 his archive was sent to Israel and is found in a special room that carries his name (the room is a part of the house on Khulda 9 in Tel Aviv that serves as the home of the Organization of Former Radomskers). The house was bought for $6000, which the society sent, and was furnished with an extra sum that was sent from the $1000 that Sol Greenberg, of Blessed memory, had left in his will.

There is left to us his greeting for the 40th anniversary (1939) of the Radomsker Society, in which he says:

‘At this time I send my heartiest greeting to my poor brothers and sisters in my city of birth, Radomsk. It is my wish [to help them], and I have therefore reserved $1000 which will be divided: $400 for [housing for the poor], $400 for interest-free loans, and $200 for ‘Shabbos guests’ in Radomsk.’

As money could not then be sent to Radomsk, the sum was sent to Eretz Yisroel.

In 1945 he gave the first $5000 for the building of apartments for the Radomsker concentration camp survivors in Israel.

He once described his charitable activities in New York this way:

‘Jewish men and women, who come to me in my home or sit down next to me in the park, would surely be unhappy if they had to go through [the written applications] of the organized social institutions of which I am a member (in more than 40 of them). My friends who come to me know another way and I must thank G-d that their way brings them directly to me… Money? Why do I need it? G-d gives it to me to hold a while in order to give it to others… I don’t ask too much about the [reason for the] need. When people come to me and ask for help no one should, G-d forbid, go away with empty hands. And I have so much nachis (pleasure) from this that can’t be bought for a million dollars.’

With particular affection, he supported the campaigns of Eretz Yisroel as a consistent donor to the Palestine Foundation Fund, the Jewish National Fund and other fund drives. He was also a dear and devoted friend of the trade union campaign for the Histadrut (for one such campaign he gave an antique object that was auctioned for ten thousand dollars). His rich archive of various documents, addresses and thank you letters (even from President Roosevelt) requires a special study that would bring out the personality of greater Jewry.

On the 25th of January 1952 he breathed out his noble soul.

His daughter and son-in-law (Altman} continue the charitable work of Sol (Shlomoh) Greenberg, of blessed memory, upholding the tradition of their dear father.

p. 513

Max Shapiro, of blessed memory


Max Shapiro, the son of Mendel and Mashele, was born in Radomsk (November 1892). He came to America in 1913, and became a member of the Society in 1921.

Max Shapiro [could not rest because he was always concerned] with helping a comrade or friend. His sacred life’s work was to seek out all who were in need of assistance, but he himself did not have the means [to provide help]. He turned to comrades and friends who gave him the resources to enable him to carry out his ideas. In this way, Brother Shlomoh Greenberg gladly covered all requests from Motele Shapiro to help the needy landsleit and others.

In the years 1925 through 1930 Shapiro suffered from a serious illness. He recovered and took over the mission of the hospital [committee] of the Radomsker Society and this gave him the opportunity to fulfill the mitzvah (good deed) of visiting the sick in the hospital.

In 1951, death cut short the life of a particularly fine person and brother – Max Shapiro, of blessed memory.

p. 514

Shlomoh Epsztein, of blessed memory

Shlomoh Epsztein came to America from Radomsk on the 16th of May 1921. He immediately joined the Radomsker Society and very quickly became well known for his active work on behalf of the poor brothers and sisters from our birthplace. His whole life was dedicated to this work, which was literally sacred to him and, therefore, he truly earned the name of a dear and devoted brother and member of the society.

He concerned himself with arranging the creation of an interest-free loan office in Radomsk, which granted interest-free loans to pressured businessmen, needy craftsmen and ordinary poor people. He was involved in arranging [for the distribution of] matzohs during Passover, with giving medical help to poor women in childbirth and the sick, and warmly responded to all requests from individuals. And it needs to be emphasized that in collecting the money for the above-mentioned purposes, Shlomoh Epsztein worked very hard and put his heart and soul into his work (he collected and sent to Radomsk thousands of dollars).

During the period of the Second World War and for ten years after, he was the chairman of ‘Relief.’ In this period, he doubled and tripled his efforts on behalf of landsmanshaft work. He collected and brought help to every Radomsker Jew who showed a trace of life during the war and, later, to all of the survivors of Hitler’s inferno wherever they were found.

After this when it was clear that there were no longer any Jewish souls in Radomsk and that the greatest number of the survivors had settled in Israel, Shlomoh Epsztein concentrated his work around the needs and requirements of the Radomsker immigrants in Israel. This last chapter of his work for the Radomsker landsmanshaft organization in Israel was full of care, friendship, devotion and many good deeds in all areas of communal work that was done through the organization in Israel.

In recognition of his untiring landsmanshaft work in and outside of America, he was elected as president of the Radomsker Society and vice president and chairman of the Relief Fund. After his death, the Radomsker landsmanshaft institutions in America decided to immortalize his name through the establishment of a loan office in Israel bearing his name at the landsmanshaft organization. He died on the 7th of May 1952.

p. 515

Moishe (Morris) Schwartz of blessed memory

He was born into a well-to-do family of means in Radomsk. He received a traditional Jewish education, and at the same time, during his youth, absorbed the great ideals of freedom

Photo of a painting of Morris Schwartz

that held sway with Jewish youth at that time. He believed with many, many others, that this great movement for freedom would dispossess the evils of humanity in general and of our Jewish people in particular.

He came to America before the First World War, to the land of great freedom and opportunities. With his learning and knowledge of the culture and community, he was devoted, first of all, to his landsleit, in the wide areas of their organizational, cultural, communal and social activities. After the dark tragedy of our people, he excelled in organizing the great aid work that the Radomsker landsleit in America undertook on behalf of their surviving brothers.

His deep humanity and feeling for freedom inspired him to be one of the founders of assistance for political victims in reactionary Poland during the 1930’s (The Patronat).

His last trip in 1962 was symbolic, accompanied by his best friend – his wife. He visited the Land of Israel and saw the marvelous rise of the nation. Later he visited Europe and was in Poland and in Radomsk. He saw with his own eyes what had happened to the once great watchword of freedom in which he had so deeply believed. His warm Jewish heart apparently could not carry the pain of the personal and national tragedy. Very shortly after his return to America, the delicate heart of Moishe (Morris) Schwartz ceased beating. He died in Miami, Florida on the 15th of October 1963.

p. 516

Pinye Kalka, of blessed memory

Photo (Pinchas Kalka)

Pinye Kalka, a dear person, a dear soul, an unassuming worker, was always ready to serve every friend, everyone close to him, every working person. He always dreamed about a more beautiful, brighter and better future. From time to time he took trips, which brought out the contrast of the dark pictures of the old home in Poland and the bright rising sunbeams of the new Israeli life in the Land of Israel.

He left Radomsk for America in 1925. But the frightening pace of American life, particularly in the giant city of New York, the difficult struggle to ‘make a living,’ the rush in the shop and the ‘hurry up’ – all of this had no power over the dear child from Nowo-Radomsk, the devoted landsman and communal worker.

Pinye Kalka would become excited with relief work, take it on with enthusiasm and get others enthused for this work. The ‘dreamer of the Nowo-Radomsk Landsmanshaft’ was for many years the ‘Relief’ chairman. Thanks to him the Passover concerts for ‘Relief’ acquired a [positive] reputation with their great success. So, too, the Yizkor evenings or the evenings for the Land of Israel.

Pinye Kalka was very enthusiastic with his communal zest for different social and general Jewish institutions. In addition, he never forgot and never blurred [the fact] that he came from a toiling family from Radomsk and that he himself always belonged to the mass of toilers and craftsmen. So in America he settled around to his way of communal and cultural work, with which he was already involved in his youth in his birthplace Radomsk.

Pinye Kalka was the co-editor of ‘Nowo-Radomsker Almanac’ together with Moishe Schwartz – the complete Radomsker.

At the beginning of 1956 he had the privilege of again being in Israel, and his joy had no end when he met his relatives and old and new friends.

He breathed out his soul in the month of October 1956 in New York.

Issy Alpert, of blessed memory

We regret the loss of our member Issy Alpert. We have lost a person who warmly responded to our collections with significant sums of money. [He was] a managing member of Alpert and Meyers.

p. 517

The aid organization in Los Angeles

By Herszl Epsztein

Photo caption: Herszl Epsztein

In 1917, our family was the first Radomsker family to settle in Los Angeles. In 1922, several [Radomsker] families joined us. Later in the early 1930's the same thing occurred (the majority of those who came were from New York and Chicago). In 1935, we already numbered fifteen Radomsker families, with almost all living in the same neighborhood. We were very close to each other, like members of one family. Five families were located in San Francisco (450 miles from Los Angeles), and we maintained contact with them through frequent reciprocal visits and we helped each other.

On the 16th of November 1944, a group of landsleit (Berliner, Borensztein, Davidson, Epsztein, Fink and Kugel) gathered together in the home of Gitl and Fiszel Gliksman. [They] decided to create a Nowo-Radomsker Aid Organization, which was joined by all seventeen Radomsker families who then found themselves in Los Angeles. Although we did not then have an exact plan of action, we all felt that it was our sacred duty to be organized in order to help our brothers in Radomsk who would perhaps survive the Second World War.

We would all gather together twice a month. We would chat and remember the old home and collect money for aid and support. When the war ended, and the call came to us for help and support, we immediately extended our brotherly hand. We sent packages of food, clothing and medicines to our landsleit survivors in France, Germany, Poland, Belgium and Israel. Later we began to support the general landsmanschaft work of the Organization of Former Radomskers in Israel in all areas of their activities.

Through all the years we actively cooperated in all areas of assistance which were undertaken through the landsmanschaft organization in New York and maintained contact with the leaders there. In the years 1946 through 1948, we were visited by the following distinguished landsleit and activists from New York: Moishe Schwartz, Sarah Hamer-Jakhlin, Mordekhai Szpira and Eziekiel Rudnitsky. We welcomed them with our hearts, and with respect, talked about common problems, and looked for new ways to widen the relationship with the landsmanschaft.

Sadly, in 1958, our activities ended, because in the interim the [number of] landsmanschaft families dwindled due to the death of our dear members and friends. We lost the following members of our Radomsker family in Los Angeles: Ofman and wife, Ahron Bugajsky, Sarah Birncweig, Moishe Berliner, and wife, Fiszel Gliksman, J. Kugel, Efraim Grajcer and wife, Solomon Diner and wife, Mendel Davidson and wife, Kaminski, Yosel Rozenbaum. May their souls be bound up in the bundle of life!

Sarah Birncweig, of blessed memory


The dear member, our Sarah Birncweig, died in Los Angeles on the 28th of November 1961 at the age of 74. She was one of our most prominent and active landsleit who excelled with her warm Jewish heart and soul.

Sarah Birncweig joined our Aid Organization in 1945 with her family and immediately devoted herself to our [varied] work of bringing help and support to our Radomsker landsleit. In addition to this, she was very active in promoting Construction Bonds for Israel. Many American Jews will remember her name with respect and love and landsleit will always remember her.

p. 519

Radomskers in Argentina

By Izrael Merkin

The following lines do not pretend to be the full history or an exhaustive account of the Radomsker landsleit in Argentina. Despite my best intentions, I was unsuccessful in gathering more than scraps of information, which I bring here, partly as a result of my direct experience and partly relying on information which landsleit have given me.

It is an old Jewish custom to remember, first of all, those who, unfortunately, are no longer among the living. Here let us remember the names of Buchshreiber, Abraham-Yitzhak Tiberg, Abraham and Sarah-Feige Gelbard, Hirsz-Ber Broiner, Meite Rozensztein, Moishe Tiberg, Sarah and Freide Eizen, Berl Haper, Shlomoh Feldberg. May their souls be bound up in the bundle of life!

First [here are some words] about the group of landsleit who were cast away in the northern Argentine province of Tukuman. The first Radomsker who settled there was Moishe Tiberg (as reported by his relatives). In 1906 he came here from London with a group of Jewish colonists. But he didn't become a colonist; he became a peddler. Later he founded a business firm. Little by little he became a naturalized [citizen] and a short time later he brought over Fiszel Krakowski and his wife Chanele. After a short time the [following] arrived here: Wolf Tiberg, Anjie Keselman, Tzirele Tiberg, Abraham Gelbard with his wife and children, Yosl, Leibl, Blume, Zisman, and Regina. Then later came Berl Ickowicz and his wife Szandele Tiberg, Malka Rozensztein, Meite Rozensztein, Abraham Rozenblat, Mindl Shreiber, Beile Shreiber, and Izrael Yakubowicz. This group formed the nucleus of our Radomsker landsleit, which remained devoted to the cultural tradition of our birthplace.

Despite the difficult conditions, which once made it necessary to struggle for one's existence, they found time and strength to give to cultural work. Together with a group of local residents, they created a cultural federation with a fine drama club that earned the well-deserved praise of the local press.

After the First World War sisters Helina and Fele Gelbard, Celina Keselman and others came and settled in Tukuman. The Radomsker family in Tukuman grew, and as the [settlement developed], they became more involved in their communal and cultural activities.

In Buenos Aires the situation developed in a much different way, because the people there were much different.

The first of our landsleit in Buenos Aires was Buchshreiber (his father was called 'Koindl'), a hatmaker by trade. He came here in 1912 after Sarah Jakhlin-Hamer had visited Buenos Aires. In spite of his difficult economic position he dedicated all of his free time to the 'Jewish Rationalist Community' in Buenos Aires, where he was secretary for many years.

In 1924 Abraham Merkin came to Buenos Aires. He was later able to bring over a large number of his family: Joshua Merkin, R. Merkin, Izrael Merkin and B. Merkin, E. Winter, etc. Jehiel Eizen, Sarah Eizen and Weisenberg were then living in a near suburb of Buenos Aires.

Before the outbreak of the Second World War, Lewi Weinman arrived with his son Israel Weinman, who quickly was naturalized and earned for himself a very good economic position.

At the same time Shlomoh Feldberg also arrived in Buenos Aires. He was always ready to assist the

p. 520

Photo caption: Radomsker Landsleit in Buenos Aires (1963)

Sitting from the right:

Celia Merkin-Morgensztern, Genia Keselman, Ruchel Merkin, Chana Krakowski, Anjie Keselman, Tzirele Tiberg, Etke Keselman, Cesze Eisen, Celina Keselman

Standing in the first row:

Mrs. Gelbard, Naszielski, Fani Merkin-Stamler, Aba Merkin, Wolf Tiberg, Eidl Keselman, Szike Haskel, Moishe Weinman, Izrael Merkin, Yosl Gelbard and Mrs. Bluma Gelbard

The last row:

Yitzhak Weinman, Szaje Merkin, Fiszel Krakowski, Halinka Faris and husband Moskowicz, Alek Keselman and wife

needy and the unfortunate among our people, and particularly those close to him. Immediately after arriving here, he created an industrial enterprise in which he was deeply involved and which earned him outstanding economic success. But the frightening news from the old home wouldn't let him rest; his great concern for those close to him tormented him. He had come here from Germany, from where he had fled as if from a fire. When the war ended and hands were stretched out to him from all sides, he traveled to Paraguay, and thanks to his connections, he became an entry beacon for thirty families whom he called his 'children.' Among the group that arrived in Buenos Aires were the Radomsker landsleit Halinka Faris and Yakub Szlamkowicz. Thanks to Shlomoh Feldberg's intervention, the brothers Eidl and Alek Keselman, Tzesze Eizen, Mrs. Rubin and Gute Neikron, Yitzhak Weinman, Salcia Zaydman and Simcha Szatitski arrived later.

Shlomoh Feldberg's history unwinds in a very strange way. At that time, he had such good connections and esteem that he was appointed as Consul of Paraguay. This, however, did not last long because circumstances forced him to leave his home and travel to Paris. He lived there for two years and returned home a broken man; his enterprise, meanwhile, had [collapsed], and he died a lonely and forlorn man.

We lived through many exalted moments during the visit of Sarah Hamer-Jakhlin. With the support of the Jewish newspaper, she enjoyed the admiration and esteem of the local Jewish community and, most particularly, of the local Radomsker landsleit. The writer of these lines was assigned the honor of greeting her in the name of the Radomskers at a reception that the local cultural institutions arranged in her honor. We also had the pleasure of entertaining her in my home in the presence of a large number of Radomskers and specially invited cultural activists. This was an evening that will long remain engraved in the memories of all of the [guests]; it was a homey Radomsker and cultural gathering, during which we expressed our appreciation and warm relationship with our daughter [of Radomsk], the writer Sarah Hamer-Jakhlin. (from F. Z. A.)

In conclusion, we want to pause here to mention another landsman who occupies a very special place in Argentina: Yosl Gelbard, the son of Abraham and Sarah-Feige Gelbard. When he arrived in Argentina he was no more than nine or ten years old, and already in his youth he was occupied with what at that time everyone was occupied with – he was a peddler, he traded and in that way he also learned. Through the years he emerged as a distinguished personality in official governing circles. Yosl Gelbard was rapidly transformed into a specialist on economic and financial affairs, and in the previous government was a 'right hand' of the then ruler of the country.

p. 521

The United Landsmanshaft in France

By Berl Dudkewicz

Photo caption: Berl Dudkewicz

The first large group of emigrants (mostly young) [dropped] anchor in France in the 1920's. Their common longing for home, and their wish to join together [to deal] with community matters, steered them to a common organization. An active group of landsleit (Zisze and Dovid Ofman, Mendl Rozenbaum, Abraham Wilhelm, Herszl Yudkewicz, Leizer Wenglinski) decided to organize a Society in Paris that would occupy itself, first, with social aid and assistance with burials. Those two necessities were the principle stimuli for landsmanshaftn organizations in all countries of immigration with landsleit groups.

In the 1930's, the number of Radomsker families in France increased as a result of the political persecution and anti-Semitic discrimination of the Polish government, which was felt in Radomsk. Seeing this phenomenon, a significant number of our landsleit in France organized themselves in the Patronat in support of the struggle against Fascism and anti-Semitism in Poland, and to help political prisoners in all countries. In 1935, when news arrived of the political assassination of the well-known freedom-fighter Szeike Rozenblat, the former leftist Po'Alei-Zion councilman on the Radomsko Council, which was carried out in the Piotrkow prison, Patronat initiated a protest meeting, in which the majority of our landsleit participated.

At the protest meeting, it was decided to create a United Aid Committee [out of] the Society and Patronat, with Mrs. Rozenbaum as chairman. Members of both Radomsker organizations, Abraham and Berl Dawidowicz, Leibish Wlaczszowski, Solomon Nowak, Erlikhman, Abraham Krakowski, Alpert, Mlinkewski, Koszec, Rozensztein, Zelie Tenebaum, Adela Radoszicki, and others worked together in the United Aid Committee. The Aid Committee very quickly collected the sum of twenty thousand zlotys. Member Leibish Wlaczszowski was appointed [to go to] Radomsk, where he gave the money on the spot to a united committee, which had been established for the purpose of dividing the sum among all the social institutions in the city.

In 1938, a special association was formed between the Society and the Patronat, which increased the activities of all the landsleit in France. A loan office was established to provide interest-free loans and a special fund for social support. Communal and cultural work was significantly strengthened, and a single pamphlet was published together with the Czenstochower organization in the name of the prisoners, which also reflected on life in Radomsk in the past. To our great sorrow, we [closed] the last living chapter of our Jewish population in our birthplace, which was later completely annihilated during the Hitler period.

Many Radomsker landsleit took part in the struggle of French Jewry against Hitlerite Fascism. These include Dr. Berl Erlikhman, Abrahamle, Leibish, Edje Foiglman, Leon Dabrowski, and Alter Wilhlem. After the victory over Hitlerite Fascism (in 1945), we again began developing the work of our landsmanschaft with the major purpose of helping the surviving landsleit of the cataclysmic war. In 1940*alone we donated more than a million francs for this purpose, sending packages for our concentration camp survivors in Europe and Eretz Yizroel.

*[Translator's note: This year is correct as printed, although it must have actually been in 1945 or later]

Today we count almost ninety families in our landsmanshaft group, which carries out broad cultural work and social activity. We mark with great reverence the yearly memorial day for the [Radomsk Jewish community], and we have erected a special monument in memory of our Radomsker martyrs. We feel endless pain over the dreadful holocaust and [newly toil] for the continuation and survival of the Jewish people.

p. 522

Photo caption: The monument in Paris, erected by the United Radomsker Landsmanschaft in France, to the memory of our martyrs.

p. 523

Photo caption: Yokheved and Abraham-Elie Dudkewicz, of blessed memory

Yokheved, the wife of A. E. Dudkewicz, died in Paris on the 12th of March 1960, as her husband read a report at a lecture given by the Society. A. E. Dudkewicz was the cultural leader of the Society for many years and one of its active workers in all areas.

He died in Paris a year and a half after [the death of his wife], on the 19th of November 1961, a short time after his return from a visit to Israel. He was pleasantly surprised by the trip. He brought back with him a large package of books, photographs, albums, and his own account of his impressions, and he shut himself in his apartment to prepare an exhaustive paper about Israel. During the course of this work, he said, 'After I have revised and given the paper, I can die in peace.'

He died in the middle of this work.

Photo caption:

Our landsman Berl Dudkewicz, a former inmate in Auschwitz, carries a small box of ashes from that camp, during the ceremony of unveiling a memorial in Pithiviers (France), which served as a transfer station from which the transports were sent to the German death camps Auschwitz and Birkenau.

p. 524

Nowo-Radomsko Center in Melbourne

By Y. Weintreter

The Landsmanshaft organization of Radomsko in Australia was established at the beginning of 1963 in Melbourne, by landsleit who emigrated here after the Second World War.

During the organizational meeting 14 landsleit were present, and they elected a committee of three people: Y. H. Zilberszatz – President, Y. Weintreter – Secretary, Y. Ganszerowicz – Treasurer.

The Nowo-Radomsko Center in Melbourne is occupied with many different landsmanschaftn and community problems and maintains close contact with the Organization of Former Residents of Radomsk in Israel. The Center donated its share of support for publishing this Yizkor Book and for the efforts that the landsleit in Israel have made for this sacred purpose.

Photo caption: During the organizational meeting of the Center in Melbourne:

Sitting from the right: F. Szteinlauf, F Zilberszatz, Yakubowicz, Zilberszatz, Yakubowicz (from America) F. Szklarczik, F. Ganszerowicz

Standing from the right: F. Fajerman, Zelwer, Fajerman, Weintreter, Szklarczik, Szteinlauf, Ganszerowicz

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