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[Page 171/172]

In Hiding

by Dobe Samet (Sheynes)
Montreal, Canada

I do not remember what year it was, but I only remember it was New Year's Eve. My two sisters and I hid at the home of Doctor Horekh. My parents and my brothers hid at the home of the doctor's cook, Dabitski.

It was the time when the Bolsheviks were pursuing the Denikins. As they passed through Stavisht, a large group of Denikins came to stay at the home of Doctor Horekh. When they saw me they asked who I was. I was dressed like a gentile girl.

Horekh's wife answered that I was a Polish seamstress who worked for her. All the officers brought me their torn trousers to repair. My sisters and I sat above the oven free of fear. The officers saw how I patched their trousers and pricked my fingers. They were pleased with my work and some of them gave me presents.

On the second day a detachment of Bolsheviks arrived and the Denikins left. My sisters and I remained at the home at Doctor Horekh. His wife said to me, “I saved you from the Denikins, so I want you to save me from the Bolsheviks.” (But what could I do for her?) She said, “After all, the Bolsheviks are a Jewish government.”

The first group that came in immediately started robbing. They looked for the doctor's daughter Marusye. They raped her, broke everything in the house, took all the liquor, and ordered that food be prepared for them. (You should see the people who gave the orders!) I still remember that I cooked a big pot of borsht, who knows what it tasted like. They were so drunk they did not know what was happening.

Among the Bolsheviks there was a big, heavyset bandit. He called me over and said, “You know, I like you. I want to take you along with me.” You can imagine how I felt.

After they had drunk so much, they fell asleep. Around midnight I said to my sisters, “Let's run away!” But where could we go? We ran to Pshinke [gentile village]. There was a writer of the peace court, Ardenski, who lived there. I knocked on the door. He let us in and allowed us to sleep in his attic, covered with featherbeds which my parents had hidden there. In the morning he told us to leave, he was afraid to keep us there. So we went home, where we found my parents and brothers.

[Page 173/174]

One Night's Experiences

by Berl Rubin (Divenski)

It seems like a dream, as if it had only just happened. It was a long time after the Russian Revolution. We heard about all the dreadful pogroms and massacres of Jews. We also heard that in many towns Jews had self defense groups that fought the bandits, in Boguslav and Tetiev.

One afternoon a son of Yisrael Tsinis came to see me. He had been in the army and had recently returned home. When I asked what I could do for him he replied that he knew that I was interested in organizing a self defense organization in Stavisht and he wanted to join. He knew where to buy weapons at very little cost. For twenty five rubles he could bring sufficient arms. Would he also teach us how to hold the weapons and how to shoot? “Of course!” Tsinis' son cried out, his eyes staring at me and his face turning red.

We decided to keep the matter secret and that he would come to see me the following week. He came, got the money, and left for Belaya Tserkov to buy the arms. I was busy organizing the self defense group. We had about twenty-five members, among whom I remember Leyb Sheynor and Moshe Kohen. It was decided to keep everything completely secret.

It was deceptively quiet in town, but it was a seething cauldron beneath. People spread rumors and the panic kept growing. Tsinis returned with twenty revolvers and a few rifles. More volunteers joined up. Everyone swore secrecy and to fight to the last breath.

The arms were well hidden. When we drilled everyone got his weapon and came to the center. Tsinis was the commander. I was the oldest one there. Some days passed. People got a bit calmer. We thought no one knew about the self defense, the weapons, and so on. But it seems that the secret was out, and everywhere we went we heard talk of “self defense.” Old and young, small and big talked about it, some with approval, some with disapproval, and there were rumors about who was involved.

A few days later, on a Tuesday afternoon, the door opened and Rabbi Pitsie Avarham and Hirsh Mendl Shadkhen came in and wanted to meet with me immediately. “Listen Berl,” Pitsie Avraham said, “It's quiet in town, and let us hope it continues this way and we won't have any troubles. You are well organized and you have weapons and we know that the gentiles know about this. We talked with the police and they demand that we give up the weapons and we want you to do so. They promise that all will be well.”

I argued with them for over an hour but it was no use. It was decided that I would talk it over with the organization and the arms would be handed over to the representatives of the congregation.

A few days later a band of about ten or eleven bandits came in and we heard shooting immediately. I let the members of the self defense know, but what was the use? We did not have any weapons.

I and my son, ten or eleven years old, and Leyb Shneynor's went out to the market place near the big inn opposite Smaliar's. There were four young gentiles, about sixteen to eighteen years old, leaning on rifles, standing apart from each other, so that it was possible to knock the rifles out from under them. The Jews came there to see what the situation was. Mendl Hanapolske [Ganapolski] stood nearby and called out, “No, children, I shall take them away, give them lunch, and everything will be fine.”

Mendl took the four boys and then we heard terrible cries from some houses and saw horsemen coming out of the narrow streets and riding all over town. My son and I ran away. We ran past Feldsher Tadarke's house to the Gedalke River and found a little boat where we spent the night. All though the night we heard rifle fire, the sounds of breaking glass, and screams and cries. Toward dawn all became quiet and we returned home.

[Page 177/178]

Our Town Stavisht

by Yisrael Shumski (Tsinis)
Havatselet, Israel

The town of Stavisht was one of the properties of Count Branicki. His main office was at the back of town. The mansions in which his officials lived, the homes of the doctor and the midwife and the hospital buildings, formed a kind of enclave within the town. There were two churches in town, Russian Orthodox and Catholic. There was also an infirmary, two streams, upon which stood two flour mills, leased by Jews, and two distilleries of wine and beer. The peasants lived on the outskirts.

There were about 10,000 Jews. Many of them were artisans, while others were wheat or egg merchants, butchers, and storekeepers. The stores and butcher shops were in the center of town. In front of them was the market place. There were stands, most of them managed by women. They sold all kinds of merchandise: needles, threads, colored ribbons for the gentile girls, soap, etc. There were also stands for selling bread and baked goods. Women sat on the ground and sold all kinds of fruits: apples, pears, cherries, etc. The wives of the butchers sold intestines and lungs to the poor inhabitants. Gentile women also sat in the market place and sold pork to the peasants.

The fair was held on a Sunday, every two weeks. The peasants of the entire vicinity would bring their produce to sell, and they would buy what they needed. They would bring wheat, cattle, horses, skins of cattle, foxes, rabbits and martens, etc. In the summertime they would bring fruit to sell. The peasant women would bring the heavy cloth they had woven, canvas fibers and stalks of flax, poultry and eggs. In the wintertime they would bring geese to sell. Some families would buy the geese, fatten them up, fry the fat, and send it to Odessa to be sold.

In the late afternoon, after the peasants had sold their produce, they would buy boots, boards, nails, tar and utensils. In the winter, during their fast days, they would buy salted and dried fish. The women would buy dry goods, sugar, oil, flour, etc.

This was the economic situation. And now, as to the spiritual situation: There were five synagogues in town:

  1. The synagogue where the ordinary people prayed;
  2. The Bet Ha-midrash for the Skvira hasidim and others;
  3. The Sokolovka kloyz;
  4. The Talnoye kloyz;
  5. The Makarov kloyz.
At the beginning of the twentieth century a Zionist prayer house was built. There was a Talmud Torah where the sons of the more affluent Jews, mostly Zionists, studied and paid tuition fees. The Talmud Torah was supported by the organization called in Hebrew “Hevrat Mefitse Haskalah ben Hayehudim” [Society for the Promotion of Culture Among the Jews of Russia] located in St. Petersburg. There were teachers of Hebrew and Bible for beginners as well as teachers of Hebrew grammar for the older boys. Students who completed the courses at the Talmud Torah were eligible to enter the High School for beginners [Middle School] run by the government which had four grades. Many children were able to do so, for secular subjects were taught at the Talmud Torah as well as Hebrew subjects. The tuition fee was very low, six rubles a year.

There was a hospital in town and the two doctors of the Count's estate also served the Jews. The Catholic drug store would supply medicine free if prescribed by these doctors (they were paid for by the Count). There were also a Jewish paramedic and two Christian paramedics and two drug stores owned by Jews that would sell medicines prescribed by the doctors or the paramedics. There was an old fashioned bath house. Railroad tracks were laid, but were not used for many years.

In 1897, the year of the First Zionist Congress, a Zionist organization was founded in our town and I was its secretary until 1915. At that time the Hevrat Mefitse Haskalah, mentioned previously, sent me to Kremenits in the province of Volyn to serve as a teacher. The pious people in town opposed Zionism and the others were indifferent, nevertheless we sold more than 400 shares in the Colonial Bank headquartered in London [Jewish Colonial Trust (Bank) founded by the World Zionist Organization in 1898, based in London, to develop Jewish colonization of Palestine.]

At the time of the pogroms when the murderers Denikin and Petliura were passing through, I was no longer in Stavisht. This is what I remember about my town.

[Page 179/180]


A. Ben-Hayim

The Jewish residents of Stavisht were very proud of the Count's estate. Stavisht could not be considered a Jewish small town like all the others – it had a source of prestige – the Count's estate.

In truth, the Count himself was there very rarely. He was like a small magpie on the roof, as the saying goes. However, Stavisht was his official residence and he had there a whole staff of officials and clerks who were called by the people in town “the nobility.”

They lived in the nicest quarters and beautifully built houses, surrounded by orchards, trees and flowers. In contrast, the Jewish part of town consisted of little houses without a sign of green, except for a few houses belonging to the very rich Jews who possessed (or it was thought that they possessed) a few thousand rubles.

My father, peace upon him, born in Stavisht, would often tell stories about the Count's estate. I remember a few of them:

Once, the Count, who traveled in many countries, bought an Arabian horse and asked to have it sent to Stavisht. Did he then lack for horses? He just wanted to have an Arabian horse, so he could boast about it to the neighboring nobles. Can you imagine what a Count would do just to lord it over others? And so the day came when the Arabian horse arrived in Stavisht along with its handler, an Arab with burning large eyes, wearing wide black trousers.

I should here like to add some marginal notes. When my father told this story, when I was about nine or ten years old, in my childish fantasy I would imagine that it was Ishmael the son of Hagar whom Abraham had sent out of his house. The young Ishmael grew up in the desert without a father's supervision. He did not go to heder and was not taught by tutors. So he grew up a wild man. He ran around the desert and chased wild horses there. That is why the Arabian horses were so wild and swift.

And now we return to our story:

The Jews of town told how this horse and his handler had a private cabin aboard ship (how they knew this I do not know) as well as private cars in the various trains and then finally, a special coach to Stavisht. A special stall was set up on the Count's estate and a place for the handler to live. They prepared a festive banquet for the precious guests. Nobles and their wives came from all over the area and they all admired the beautiful horse with its slender delicate hooves.

It took a long time for the horse to adjust to its environment and the climate. Finally, one day, the Count mounted the richly saddled horse and rode out with great pride. Unfortunately, on his return, as he came to the gate of the town, his horse fell down dead.

Here is another story my father told: Once the Countess fell ill and the greatest physicians came from Kiev and they discovered that she should be fed with the milt of fish.

There was a river in Stavisht with wonderful fish. The Count ordered that many fish be caught and their milt was removed. But among them there were many fish that had roe, so these fish, along with the fish whose milt had been removed, were given to the local Jews for the Sabbath. The Jews of Stavisht had enough fish to last until after the Melave Malkah [the last Sabbath meal].

[Page 183/184]

Returned from the Other World…

by Yisrael Rubin
White Plains, N.Y., U.S.

I, Yisrael Robtshanski, was born in the Raskashne, or as this village was called, Ksenzivke. I had six brothers and one sister. She died in Stavisht at the time of the First World War.

This event, which happened to me, I shall remember for the rest of my life.

It happened when the Revolution broke out and the Russian Army disintegrated. All the soldiers fled, taking along whatever weapons they had to their native villages. Every gentile who could read and write a little became an officer and organized a band of young gentiles. Their motto was: “Bey Zhidov, Spasey Rasya!” [Beat the Jews, Save Russia]. That is how the pogroms began. They would attack small towns, organize raids and rob everything that came to hand.

The Jews of all the small towns in Ukraine lived in fear during this entire period. Some small towns organized self defense groups, but they were not much help.

A small town had to live from something, so people risked their lives in order to travel to the fairs, Sunday in Krivselevke, Monday in Pyatigory, Tuesday in Stavisht and Thursday in Zhashkov.

And now I come to what happened to me. On a Thursday, I, and some others, traveled to the fair in Zhashkov. There was a bandit in that area named Kazakov. Around two o'clock in the afternoon Kazakov showed up with a band of 25 hooligans and they began to rob and to beat the Jews. Whoever opposed them was shot. While the bandits were robbing, and snatching goods from each other, and thus occupied, their commander, Kazakov, stood in the middle of town and harangued the gentiles who had come to the fair, that all Jews were Communists and as soon as they got rid of all the Jews they would be rid of the Communists. The gentiles cried, “Hurray!”

Kazakov had a son who was about fourteen years old. He rode on a pony. He was not interested in robbing. He took out his saber, chased the Jews and beat them until they fell dead.

It is impossible to describe the tumult and the fear. People were running and screaming and did not know which way to turn. The bandits rampaged for a few hours and then left with their loot. They left the dead and wounded lying in the street.

I also ran, I do not know in which direction. In Zhashkov the bathhouse was at the edge of town. Next door was a gentile's dwelling. I ran into his barn, into the horse's stall and hid under a pile of straw. I lay there for a few hours. The gentile did not even know I was there, he had gone to the fair. Through the cracks I could see what was doing outside, and when I saw people walking around, I knew that the bandits had left. Then I came out of the stall and went to the center of town to the Stavisht departure area. I cannot begin to describe what I saw there. The dead bodies and been laid out in two rows on the ground. The wounded had been given first aid. I will never forget the screaming and crying. Everyone was up the whole night. They were afraid that the bandits might return to town.

The night passed quietly. No one left town Friday morning. And, I need not add, of course no one would think of traveling on the Sabbath. God helped. Sunday, we found out from gentiles passing through that all was well in Stavisht. But there was no waggoner to take us back to Stavisht. Suddenly I saw a gentile from my village, Raskashne. His name was Ivan. I used to hire him to take eggs and flour to Belaya Tserkov and Kiev. It felt as if I had seen the Messiah! Even if he were not willing to drive me home, at least he could report back that I was still alive. I talked to him and he told me that his wagon was full of straw, and that I should lie down under the straw and he would take me to Stavisht.

At home they had heard from some gentiles returning from the Zhashkov fair what had been going on there. Sunday morning my mother and my brother Moshe began to look for a way to find out what had happened to me. We had a gentile neighbor named Petro. He was blind in one eye, lame in one foot, and was a drunkard as well. My brother Moshe hired Petro to drive to Zhashkov and find out what had happened to me. He was well paid and he left. Some readers may remember that the road between Stavisht and Zhashkov passed though a small wooded area. The trip took half a day. Petro came back and told my mother the “good news,” that he had seen me and two other Jews hanging from trees in the woods. He even described what I was wearing. There could be no doubt because he knew me, I had grown up in the house next door.

You can imagine the mourning and wailing in my home.

The Stavisht market place was on the highway opposite the Bet Hamidrash. That is where people bought and sold, discussed politics, hired laborers, or rented a carriage for transportation.

My mother and my brother ran to the highway. They were convinced that I was hanging in the woods, because who knew me better than Petro? My mother cried and screamed and a crowd gathered. I was well known in town because I conducted business with many people and often traveled to Kiev to sell eggs and flour and to bring back all kinds of products: textiles, sugar, salt, soap. Everything imported from Kiev has added value and it was profitable. Therefore everyone knew me quite well. In a small town everyone knows everyone else.

My mother did not stop crying. My brother Moshe and a few householders were ready to drive to the woods and take down the three corpses and bring them for a Jewish burial. But they could not set out immediately. First of all, it was a dangerous trip and secondly, they had to know the exact spot where the men were hanging. They had to ask Petro to lead them to the right place. But meanwhile, Petro had gotten drunk and had passed out, lying under his wagon. It was no use, he did not respond to their pleas.

Just then a wagon pulled by two horses came down the highway, the wheels of the wagon creaking loudy over the cobblestones, and who should appear there rising from the wagon bed, but yours truly…

I did not know the reason for the tumult. What had happened? I saw only that the market place was full of people. You can imagine the reaction when they saw me. Everyone stood as if turned to stone. I cannot describe what went on that day in town. I shall not forget that Sunday as long as I live!

And that is how it went in all of the towns of the Ukraine. I turned twenty, fell in love with Paule Abatovke, Leyb Yaneshivker's daughter. We were married and left for the long voyage to America. How we managed that voyage is a story in itself.

We came to the golden land and settled in a small town, White Plains, twenty miles from New York. We have lived here this whole while and have raised a family, two daughters and a son, whom we have given a fine education. Our daughters graduated from college and our son became a doctor and we are all happy together.

[Page 189/190]


by Hava Zaslavski
(daughter of Rabbi Yitshak-Avraham)

Stavisht was a small town in Ukraine, Province of Kiev, where I was born, spent my childhood years and the best years of a person's life. The town of Stavisht was similar to hundreds of Ukrainian towns in all aspects: economic, intellectual, commercial. However, it was much prettier in its landscape. It was surrounded by great pine forests, beautiful flowing rivers, trees and fields. Its climate was healthy. Often Jews would come from larger cities to spend the summer in its healthful atmosphere.

There were 800-1000 Jewish families. The gentiles lived outside of town. Thus the Jews and the gentiles did not come into contact very much except for the one day a week when the latter would come with their produce to do business.

The Jews were mostly shopkeepers or artisans, brokers and idlers. There were very few rich people in Stavisht. Mostly they were middle class and the artisans were very poor. In general it was a poor town.

Nevertheless, the Jews were divided into various groups who had little to do with each other. Family prestige was of great importance. The children of the various strata went to different schools. The artisans were quite separate from the others, even lived in a different part of town, had their own synagogue, prayed with their own quorums. The children of the better classes were forbidden to play with artisans' children and, of course, there were no marriages between the classes.

Another group which was treated as outcasts was the Zionist group. They were of the younger generation, more worldly, more idealistic, and worked for Erets Yisrael. They had their own synagogue, and kept apart from the pious Jews, who fought them bitterly. The pious Jews waited for God to lead them to Erets Yisrael.

There were six synagogues in town, and many Jews sat and studied Torah day and night. They did not worry about making a living. The women provided. The women worked in the stores, traveled to the fairs in other towns, and the men prepared “the world to come.”

However, there were no great scholars of renown in Stavisht. One of the few scholars was the Stavishter Rabbi, Rabbi Yitshak Avraham. Besides being a pious scholar, he was also very wise. He was the religious leader of the town, the adviser, the peace maker, the representative of all the Jews before God and before the world. He helped the Jews of Stavisht at all times, especially in time of war. At the time of the pogroms he rescued them from the murderers' hands. With his great wisdom he saved the Jews from the greatest dangers. I remember that once the bandits gathered all the Jews in the Bet Hamidrash and were ready to set it on fire. The rabbi came out and started a discussion with the bandits and told the Jews to sneak out of the back door. When the bandits caught on to the ruse, there was no one left. They wanted to hang the rabbi. The gallows were ready and the rabbi was already standing on a bench, when their leader came and took the rabbi home. He often risked his life to save the Jews of Stavisht and of other towns as well.

The town of Stavisht was isolated. It was located 50 viorst [about 33 miles] from the nearest train station. Jews who were knowledgeable and worldly wanted to know what was going on in the world. Every week the newspapers Hatsefirah and Hazeman would arrive. The Jews were very politically aware and after the prayers they would spend hours in the synagogues discussing politics and figuring out who was going to go to war with whom, and who would win, when there would be a revolution and where kings would be deposed, and everything else going on in the world. The two newspapers were handed around and read all week long.

Stavisht was known as the place where Count Branicki had his estate. His nobles lived in Stavisht and provided an income for Jews and his estate beautified the town. The nobles lived around the Count's palace in beautiful modern houses surrounded by tall trees. In the middle was a boulevard where the Jews young and old promenaded on Sabbath and holidays.

Boys and girls would meet there, enjoy each other's company, and I am certain that all Stavishters remember that boulevard when they recall their youth.

There were no secular schools in Stavisht. All the children attended hadarim and received a religious education. The wealthier Jews would bring in private tutors from larger towns to teach their children secular subjects. The middle class enjoyed these benefits as well. After they had completed their studies, the young people would go to the large cities to take the examinations.

It is to our town's credit that all the youth strove for learning and Torah. The young people were also divided into classes. Almost all of the idealists were Zionists, who wanted to go to Erets Yisrael to build the land for the Jewish people. There were also socialists who dreamed of a revolution, deposing the Czar, and the rule of goodness in the world.

The young people dreamed of leaving the small town of Stavisht to study in the big cities, but very few succeeded in doing so.

[Page 201/202]

Outstanding Personalities

by Yisrael Rubin

Arthur Schechter

Arthur Schechter left Stavisht in 1907 when he was 14 years old. When he came to America he settled in Chicago where he lived for some years. In 1918 he came to Grand Rapids, Michigan where he has been living until the present.

Schechter started out buying hides, treating them, then selling them to big firms. The company's name is Wolverine Hide Company. He has built up his business to such an extent, that not only does he sell his merchandise in the United States, but he also exports it abroad.

Even though he is very much involved in his business, Schechter finds time for community work and is active in all aspects of Jewish life, especially in the field of Jewish culture. He is a member of various Jewish organizations, for example, the Jewish Culture Congress, YIVO, vice-president of the Jewish Labor Committee, representative in his city of the United Jewish Appeal, and chairman of the Israel Bond Campaign in his city and vicinity.

I know him personally. I remember him from the Old Country and am very close to him here. He is also a member of the Workmen's Circle of the United States and Canada of which I am also a member. We often see each other at meetings of the various organizations to which we both belong. Moreover, he is a great philanthropist, with a good soul and a kind heart. He helps everyone and whenever help is needed, with a generous hand.

I feel that it would be a great injustice if I did not write to express what I know and feel about my friend Arthur Schechter. Here is an example of his generosity. When he was in New York a few years ago, he proposed to me and some other Stavisht landslayt that we memorialize our town by writing a book about the Stavisht of our times. We were immediately inspired by this idea, and called a meeting of our landslayt and chose a committee to carry out this project. Schechter was not only the initiator of the idea, but he was its greatest financial supporter. Without his initiative and support we would not have been able to carry out this wonderful memorial project of our town Stavisht.

Schechter is a dear man, with great love for Jews, Jewish culture, Jewish literature, and even more, for Stavisht and Stavisht landslayt. He works for Jewish causes with enthusiasm. He is a real Ukrainian Stavisht hasid. We are proud of him and we wish him and his family long years of fruitful communal work.

Moshe Galant

Among those who should be mentioned for their active role in pushing forward the project of writing this book is Moshe Galant, Moshe Katsebivker's step-son.

I should also mention some other Stavisht landslayt who helped him become the person he is. One of those is the teacher, Isaac Lande, who came to Stavisht and became a teacher in the Talmud Torah. Moshe Galant was one of his students. Lande saw great promise in him. He involved himself in Moshe's education. However, Lande did not remain in his position as teacher for long. He was hired by the estate of Count Branicki to serve as a secretary in the office there.

Lande suggested to Moshe that he come to his home, where he and his sister, Sonia, tutored him privately. Moshe learned much from Lande, as well as from his step-father, Moshe Katsebivker. Later he became an assistant to Moshe the melamed and helped to teach the children their blessings, reviewed the morning prayers with them as well as other subjects taught in the lower grades.

Leyzer Motelivker suggested to Moshe that he come to the village of Motelivke to tutor Leyzer's children. Moshe spent one semester there, earning nine rubles for his labors. He returned to Stavisht and became a frequent visitor at the Lande home, drinking in as much knowledge as he could. He understood that there was no future there for him. With only 13 rubles in this pocket he left Stavisht and came to Skirva to study.

Galant had a grandfather in Skvira, a very pious Jew, an important man in the community, who served as cantor in the big synagogue. When he found out that his grandson was attending a government school, he drove him out of his house. Moshe's 13 rubles were spent and he was destitute.

The pupils in the government school where Galant was enrolled found out about his situation and told their parents. The parents, together with the government appointed rabbi, and his brother-in-law, the town doctor, decided to help Moshe by providing him with meals, every family taking him for a week in turn. Galant found himself in a fine, aristocratic environment. After he completed his studies he went to Kiev.

In Kiev he found a position in a lawyer's office. He returned to Stavisht and became a second Lande. Lande saw that the education he had provided for Moshe had not been in vain.

Galant became a teacher of Russian in the school of Shemuel the melamed. After a time he opened his own private school, where both Jewish and Christian children attended. Among the non-Jewish children in attendance were the children of the feldsher [paramedic] Khartshinski, the lawyer Satshinski, and even the children of the police commissioner.

The Skvira police commander was transferred to the Tarashacha Uyezd. He met Galant at the home of the police commissioner and recognized him. He used to see him at the homes of aristocratic families in Skvira where Galant was nicknamed “Dos Yingele” [The young boy]. He suggested to Galant that he give up teaching and referred him to the owner of the sugar factory in Zhashkov. Galant got a job in the factory office. The factory functioned only three months every year, but Galant kept the job for six months. He became acquainted with a well known lawyer, Tshudnovski, a sickly man who needed someone like Galant, who was skilled in law, and he took him on as an assistant.

Tshudnovski died and Galant took over his office and his clients. The owner of the sugar factory was also a lawyer, but did not have time for his law business so he hired Galant to take care of it.

When the unrests and pogroms started in Ukraine, Galant moved to Bessarabia (then part of Romania). He became acquainted with editors of periodicals in Romanian, Yiddish, and Russian, and became involved in administrative work at these periodicals. He earned a fine income, bought a house, raised a family, and lived there until news came that Hitler would occupy Bessarabia.

His daughter in America sent him the necessary papers and he left Bessarabia and came to America. In New York he was warmly welcomed by the Stavisht landslayt. He settled in America and became a successful businessman.

At out last meeting, on March 19, Galant participated in the Maot Hitin campaign [funds to help the needy during Passover]. Although he is 78 years old, he is the same lively and vibrant Moshe Galant as he was in this youth.

Yisrael Senderovitsh

Yisrael Senderovitsh of Toronto, Canada, came here as a young boy and settled in Canada. He married, raised a family, and was always devoted to the interests of our landslayt and to our old home town of Stavisht.

With the help of some landslayt he founded a landsmanshaft society and was the president of the society for many years, until his wife became ill and he could no longer devote himself to its affairs.

Little by little, the older members departed, and the younger ones were not interested or connected to the old country. Neighborhoods changed and many people moved to new homes, and the society disbanded. Nevertheless, Yisrael Senderovitsh remained faithfully devoted with heart and soul to his landslayt and he would meet and spend time with them on various occasions.

When the idea of creating a memorial book about Stavisht came from New York to Canada, he was the first to take part in the work and he immediately responded that he was ready to help in any way he could. He himself did not write any articles, because he was very young when he came to Canada and did not remember much about Stavisht.

He recently lost his wife, and did not have the inclination to write, but he helped in any way he could to further the work. He met with some of the landslayt and they decided to raise a sum of money to help fund the publication of the book.

He sent the contribution to our committee with a letter expressing his feelings of sympathy for the sacred task. Therefore the committee wishes to express its heartfelt gratitude to our friend Yisrael Senderovitsh and to the other members of the committee who volunteered their efforts to create a book as a memorial for our home town of Stavisht.

Shelomo (Solomon) Golub

Shelomo Golub Beraze was a Yiddish teacher in Russia. He was a very educated man, belonging to the Zionist organization. When he was young he gave private lessons to the children of householders in Stavisht.

We were a group of four boys: Levi Pritsker, the son of Mordekhai the chandler; Eliyahu Rozenblit, the son of Nahman the Palnamats [holder of special privileges]; Yotek Kohen, the son of Eliyahu Yaakov-Yisrael the butcher; and I myself, Yisrael Rubtshinski, the son of Yehoshua'ke the butcher. We were between 12 and 15 years old. We had left the hadorim where we had studied for many years, beginning with elementary studies and ending with Pentateuch with Rashi commentary and Talmud.

We suggested to Solomon Golub that he teach us four boys two to three hours a day. We studied with him for two years. He was logical, organized, and tactful and he knew how to approach us and how to gain the trust of his students.

Some time later he gave up the teaching profession and became a businessman. He rented a store where he sold books and office supplies. He did good business up until the time we left Stavisht.

The Golub family raised fine, well-educated sons, with good characters and good hearts. After the First World War and the Revolution, when the upheavals began and the various forces and bands of bandits came in, it was impossible to remain in Stavisht. They decided to leave and come to America. The journey was not so simple. They spent some time in Odessa, then a longer time in Bessarabia, Romania, until the miracle occurred and they came to America.

sta211.jpg - [14 KB] - Shelomo (Solomon) Galub
Shelomo (Solomon) Galub

[Translator's note: He was my mother's teacher
and we visited him once, in the Bronx or Upper Manhattan,
when I was a little girl.]

This happened to all the emigrants who suffered a great deal before they found their place of rest. In the golden land of America they also struggled for a while, but in a relatively short time they had established themselves.

The oldest son is an insurance agent and involves himself in communal work, and supported his father and mother for a long time in the finest way. One can say that he fulfilled the commandment, “Honor your father and mother” to the utmost. The second son has a fruit business and has a fine family. The third son, the kindhearted Sonny, works for the New York Times and also has a fine family.

Returning to Shelomo Golub, I want to say that the past few years were difficult for him. He had lost his vision and could not continue his communal work as he wished. He reached a ripe old age. He died in 1960 at age 87, his wife having died a few years earlier.

This a brief biography of a noble fine landsman of the town Stavisht.

Moshe-Leyb (Morris) Kanski

He was still quite young at the time of the First World War. Then came the Revolution and after that as the regimes changed hands, band after band of pogromchiks would come and terrorize Stavisht. Moshe-Leyb felt a strong need to defend his town in any way he could.

At that time a self-defense force of young people, with our Rabbi Yitshak Avraham Gasinski at its head, was founded. They would go around at night to protect the town. Moshe-Leyb participated in the night watch and thanks to him the town was often saved from attack.

As a young man, Moshe-Leyb wanted to leave Russia and go to America as many other Jews had done. He became acquainted with a girl who lived across the street, Gitl Zshivatovski, daughter of Godel-Hersh Hanna. In a short time they were married and left for America.

They settled in New York and he began to sell textiles, the same kind of business he had in Stavisht. He started on a small scale but eventually opened a store where he was very successful. He was observant, prayed every day, kept a Jewish home, but he was not a fanatic. He was an honorable person in every sense of the word. He never cheated anyone, never took money from anybody. He observed the axiom: What is mine is mine and what is yours is yours.

He joined the Stavisht landsmanshaft and became very active, devoted heart and soul to the membership and the society. He was a trustee and a candidate for president. He was friendly with all the landslayt and was loved and respected by all. He had a good character, liked to do favors for people, people used to come to ask his advice, and he would advise them to the best of his ability.

sta215.jpg - [21 KB] - Moshe-Leyb (Morris) Kanski
Moshe-Leyb (Morris) Kanski

But no one knows what tomorrow will bring. Even though he was only middle aged, he began to feel ill. He began to withdraw from business and from other activities and about three months ago he drew his last breath, at the age of 61. It was a great loss for the Stavisht landslayt and they will never forget him. Honor to his memory!

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