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C. Charity and Mutual Aid Associations.
Additional societies established by Jews

a. Masonic Lodges

The following Masonic lodges have operated in Roman: “Concordia”– Roman, “Lucia”– Bozieni, “Steaua Moldovei” (The Star of Moldova) established in 1882, and “Progresul”– Roman, established and consisted exclusively or mainly of Christians.[1]

In 1873, A.D. Stern mentions the lodge “Fraternitatea” (brotherhood) in the town without any further details.[2] The lodge “Progresul” of the Bnei–Brith order in Roman started operating at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1903, the lodge appealed to the Jewish community in order to collect money, and with the help of a loan from “I.C.A” to start building a school. In 1934, the lodge organized a Jewish celebration in the city. At that time, it had the following officers: M. Forşt, W.L. Schwartz, Noel Bring, A. Laver, Carol Rohrlich, and was presided by H. Haimovici.[3]

In 1886, the charity society “Zion” is mentioned having a ball, whose profits were divided among poor Christians, poor Jews, and the Jewish hospital. The board of the society, (that possibly was a branch of the “Zion” lodge) was composed of

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Cofman Carol, Luis Şvarţ, Carol Rohrlich, Abr. Braunstein, Adolf Axelrad, Isac Abram, Iancu Avram, and M. Berman. The same society held a ball in the next year, with the participation of both Jews and Romanians, and members of the political and administrative leadership of the county. Among the notable Jews who participated, we shall mention I. Moscovici – banker, Max Schiffer – important merchant, Sache Alterescu Buzoianu – attorney and Sigmund Hershcovici. The ball was organized by Saul Dulbergher – the president of the Society, and the members Adolf Axelrad and Marcus A. Iurist. The benefis were given to the poor. The society appointed a committee which, together with the Rabbi of the town would create the means necessary to help the needy, in particular to procure Matzot for Passover.[4]

 

b. Mutual Aid Societies

In the “Illustrated Israelite Almanac” of 1903–1904, the following societies in the city, occupied with this topic were mentioned:

“Ahavas Ahim”
“Keisis Israel”
“Reim Akiwes”
“Societatea Damelor pentru ajutorarea femeilor lehuze” (Ladies society for the help of women after birth)

The economic societies “Speranţa” (The hope) and “Viitorul” (The future) and the Zionist societies “Cremieux” and “Ahavas Zion.” In 1901, the society “Ajutorul Damelor Israelite” (Aid of the Jewish Ladies) is mentioned as well.[5]

In 1921, the mutual aid societies “Fraterna,” “Ahavas Ahim,” “Reim Ahim,” have

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merged under the name “Fraternitatea.” However in 1927, “Fraterna” resumed its independent activities, the following being elected: W.L. Schwartz, Leopold Haimovici, Michel Simişa, Sigmund Baer, Heinrich Leiwandman, Iulius Iştein, Moise Steiu, Iulius Wigder, A.L. Solomon, Pincu Caufman, Moise Iosepovici, Iosef Pinsler, I.I. Cohn, Z.H. Zisman, and Isac Iancovici. The censors were: Max Haimsohn and Aron Rosenberg.[6]

The association “Ajutor şi îndrumare” (Aid and Guidance), was registered in the register of private juridical persons, near the Court of Roman, in 24 Jun 1935.

 

Extract from the statute of the association

Sec. 2. Intent – Helping the needy Jewish population of Roman, trying to give the opportunity to those declassed or broken, to become working elements, avoiding the situation that brings them to appeal for public compassion.
Sec. 3. The association gives aid by loan, without taking interest, commission or any other payments.
Sec. 4. The maximal help that a needy is granted is 5000 lei. The members of the association are people of both sexes, at the age of least 21 years old.

 

Funds and dues
  1. The initial contribution of the founding members
  2. The contribution of a new member joining the society.
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  1. Monthly dues of the founding members and all other members (at least 500 Lei per month)
  2. Contribution and subventions of persons or philanthropic institutions.
The organs of the association are:
  1. General Assembly
  2. The administration committee.
  3. The censors' committee.
The administration committee was composed of: prof. J. Koenig, Avram I. Solomon, Iosef Iancovici, Riven Rosenberg, Iosef Stein, Iancu Marcu, Iancu Strul, and Ghidale Marcovici. Censors: B. Bercoff, Sol. Zingher, and Iulius Margulius.[7]

 

c. Mutual Aid associations of the craftsmen

The society “Cneses Israel” was a mutual aid society for cases of maladies and decease, recognized as a juridical person in 21 Jul 1924. The society was founded in January 1899. The motto in the prologue of the society's statute cites the Talmudist Hama bar Chanina, who describes in poetic mode the intent, or rather part of the goals of the society: “The belief is that people should follow God's example, like Him dressing people, since he dressed Adam and Eve, so you should dress the naked, as He has visited the sick, so you should visit the sick, since He has visited Abraham, when he was sick, as He caresses the saddened, when He comforted Isac when he mourned his parent, you should also caress them, as He buries the dead,

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since He buried Moses, so you should bury the dead”.

The founding members of the society were: Sucher Cohn, Herman Stanger, H. Rivenzohn, M. Zucker, Simon Lutz, A.S. Segal, Simon Moscovici, A.M. Biderman, D.L. Bercovici, H. Bercovici, Lupu Grunberg, Marcu Segall, David Herşcu, Leon Aranovici, Iulius Aranovici and Ozias Zager.

The management committee for the year 1915–1916: president – Isidor Schiffer, vice presidents – S. Simşensohn and H. Rivensohn, cashier – Lipa I. Spivac, deputy cashier – Meier Weisman, controllers – David Kupferberg and Meier Zucker, signatory – Simon Moscovici, and secretary – Moritz Solomon.

In 1927, Isidor O. Schiffer and H. Rivensohn still held their positions, Solomon Zingher became vice president, Moritz Solomon cashier, Mendel Barasch – secretary and David Kupferberg and Leon Salovici controllers. The tasks and leading organs remained as before. In 1902 the balance of the society was as following:

Income: (taxes, dues, donations) 2611.40 lei.

Expenses: rent – 132 lei, medicines – 698.40, wages 285.70 lei, weekly subventions 245 lei, other subventions 129 lei, office expenses 93.37 lei, commission on the money collection 93.60, wood expenses 25 lei, furniture – 10 lei, other 10.85 lei, overplus – 1759 lei.[8]

“Ahavas Achim” society, like the “Scheins (or Schewes) Achim” contributed to the “progress of Zionist ideas”, the first collaborating with the Zionist section “Ahavas Zion.” In 1903 they collected

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money for the National Fund, on the occasion of the general assembly of the Zionist section.[9]

The association of the barbers' shop owners and workers was founded in 1937 in the city. The president was Alexandru Bucur, one vice president was Milu Flitman, and out of the five censors, two were Jews. There was also an association of barbers and hairdressers.[10]

 

d. Ladies Associations and Societies

On 31 Oct 1882 the ladies' society “Concordia” was founded in town. At the beginning it had 700 members and a fund of 700 lei. The committee was composed of Mrs. Dr. Reitman, president, A. Rosenstreich, vice president, Schiffer – cashier, Sandman – secretary. As the honorific president was elected Dr. Iosef Taubes. The goal of the society was social assistance.[11]

Since 1922, the documents show the existence of “Asociaţia Culturalǎ a Femeilor Evree” (Cultural association of the Jewish women” (“A.C.F.E”). Most of the activities were of cultural aspect: celebrations, conferences. In 1930 the president was Charlotte Schiffer and the secretary was Rica Horowitz; the association had 252 members. Under its supervision there was a kindergarten with 40 children, two members daily supervised its activity. The Association deployed a rich cultural activity, it had a library, and it organized literature and scientific conferences. It supported the Hebrew course of C.T.S. (Cercul Tineretului Sionist – Jewish youth circle), it gave aid to the unemployed, and it participated in the actions of

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“Keren Kayemet Le Israel” and “Keren Hayesod.” In 1931, it organized the Hanukah party of the kindergarten.[12]

 

e. The “Maccabi” Association

In the town and county of Roman, the “Maccabi” association organized rich sports and cultural activities.

The association was founded in 1921, when the following committee was elected:

Suchard Rivensohn – president, Iohan Zisu Zussman – secretary, Tzudic – cashier, Hausvecht and Hutschneker – members.

In 1927 the committee was composed of Lupu Lazǎr, Iancu Davidec, R. Stein, Streisfeld, Levi Velt, Curelaru, Blecher, Karmitz and Jean Bayer. In the same year a cyclist section was founded. In the next year, two cultural meetings were held and the association merged with the “Triumph” club.

In 1933, a sports' club “Maccabi” was established at Bǎceşti – Roman.[13] On 25 and 26 August 1934, a sports' event was held at Roman, with the participation of various sections of “Maccabi”, with more than 500 sportsmen.

The event was sponsored by the city council and the Jewish Community of Roman. The festivities started with a parade of all sections in front of the city hall. Opening the parade was the delegation from “Maccabi” Iaşi. From many windows and balconies flowers were thrown at the participants. At the city stadium various sport activities were held: volleyball, soccer, open exercises, running, jumps, pyramids performed by different sections.

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At night, a big party was held in the city park, where the various sections showed open exercises and exercises with instruments. On Sunday, the activity continued at the stadium with tests at semifinals and finals.[14]

Taking into account the beautiful activity deployed for the training of the Jewish youths, the association “Maccabi” received in 1935 a subvention of 2000 lei from the Jewish community (president Att. Cramer and secretary M. Rintzler).[15]

 

f. The Jewish students association in Roman

In 1927, the committee of the Jewish students was elected: Lupu Leopold – president, members – Leizer Bercu and Katz Lupu.[16]

 

g. The local sections of the U.E.P. (“Uniunea Evreilor Pǎmânteni” – Native Jews Union) and U.E.R. (“Uniunea Evreilor Români”) – Romanian Jews Union

A section of the General association of the Native Jews was founded in Roman in 1891, led by I. Simşen.[17] At the initiative of Iosif Weiss, at the end of December 1903, the section “Deşteptarea” (Awakening) of the “Uniunea Evreilor Pǎmânteni” was re–founded in the city. I. Weiss was elected as the president of the section U.E.P.; He led a fight for the granting of civil rights to the Jews. In 1913, after the start of the Balkan wars, with the participation of Jews in the Romanian army, the fight for granting civil rights started again.

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In February 1913 a general assembly of the U.E.P. local section was held, and a new committee was elected, with Iancu Avram as president, Aron Rosenberg – cashier, Dr. Helfant and Isidor Schiffer vice presidents, and Dr. A. Wexler – controller; secretaries were Suchard Rivenzon and N. Bandel.[18] With the occasion of a conference held under the auspices of U.E.P., several women registered to the section. In 1920, Gabriel Schafer, a student, analyzed critically the political activity of the Jewish population: “In Roman there are two camps, with no understanding among them. One is the U.E.P, under the leadership of Iancu Avram and Isidor Schiffer. The first has worked 30 years for the Jewish well–being, and has given the city a modern school; the second, a man with initiative, watched for the Jewish interests and presided over the distribution of the aid that came through the Joint Distribution committee. Those from the Jewish community, with Laver and Iancu Gross as leaders, were accused of infractions.

As a result, the author of the pamphlet was arrested, being accused of bolshevism, at the suggestion of Iancu Gross. He was released after the intervention of A. Laver, the president of the community.[19]

In 1931 and 1932, discussions of the Jewish Youth, affiliate of the U.E.R, were held in town; at the second one participated the lawyer Iacob Bacalu, the general secretary of the “Tineretului U.E.R” (Youths of U.E.R.) from Bucharest. The topic of the discussions was establishing a local group of the “Tineretului U.E.R”[20]

 

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