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[Columns 209-210]

and Youth Movements

[Columns 211-212]


[Columns 213-214]

The Zionist Labor Party “Hit'akhdut” [“Union”]

by Arye Avnon - Bronstein

Translated by Moshe Kutten

A local party branch was established in Ternopil at the beginning of the 1920s, a short time after the international conference of the “Hit'akhdut” in Prague (1920). Among the founders of the branch were: Professor Sam, Avraham Zeltzer, Dr. Yehuda Tzellermayer, Dr. Shaul Orenstein, Avraham Taft, Avraham Rozenshtroikh, Shmaryahu Pechnik, Moshe Shtierman, Klahr, Gusta Steinberg, Israel Greenspan and others. These people held advanced political views. They considered the Zionist labor movement the most suitable conduit to educate the nation, organize it for the building of Eretz Israel, and train the youth for Aliya and self-fulfillment. They trusted the party to consolidate the Zionist ideology based on the experience acquired by the pioneers of the Second Aliya and the philosophy of the great Zionist Labor Movement's ideologues - A. D. Gordon, Yosef Aharonovitz, Yosef Bussel, Dr. Khaim Arlozorov, and others. In the meantime, the Third Aliya broke through to Eretz Israel via many routes. New types of settlements were formed, in addition to the organic kibbutz. The need to educate the masses about pioneering actions, based on the requirements of the time and the tremendous opportunities in Eretz Israel, became apparent. The distress in the diaspora was great, the days of Grabski approached, and thousands of Jews in Poland and Galitsia prepared themselves for Aliya.

The branch of the “Hit'akhdut” in our city prepared vigorously for the required actions. It penetrated circles, which were still far from Zionist ideology, organized hundreds of members, trained them, and showed them the route to Zionism, work, and fulfillment. The fields of activities by branch' were many and encompassed two major areas: Political-educational activity for working in Eretz Israel, and activity related to the present situation in the diaspora, in our city.


The political-educational activity:

This was a new Zionist area of activity in our city. No more toeing the line with the old views and the modes of life inappropriate for the turbulent time of Zionism fulfillment and country revival. No more non-committing home owning. From now on, the center of attention would be directed at education. The education would be based on recognizing the diaspora's Jewish reality and the need to change it by preparing for Aliya and fulfillment as a group in Eretz Israel.

Our branch grew and encompassed wide circles of members. That allowed us to organize the district and activate the branches scattered throughout the neighboring areas. As a result, a “Hit'akhdut's” member, Dr. Tzvi Heller, was chosen as the candidate for the Polish Sejm. We reached that point through the fruitful work and spirit of volunteerism of all the members in the branch, and thanks to the accomplishments in all areas of activities. Dr. Heller was elected twice to the Polish Sejm. The third time, the election was held under a hostile political atmosphere toward the national minorities. At the same time, the political police and the district governor directed the votes… The terror that prevailed was unusual even in the Polish reality of that time. Every hall, rented for our campaign rally, was “checked” by the authorities' experts and was disqualified because of the “risk of collapse”. In one campaign season, all the public halls in the city were disqualified. We received a license to hold a rally in a large field - in the open, but the police organized a gang of rioters to disrupt the rally. In the end, the police broke into the rally from the adjacent third gymnasium building where the policemen were waiting for every opportunity to disperse the crowd and “succeeded in restoring order”.

The election was based on the principle of “division of votes”. With the help of the police and the presidents of the district courts, the government seized, the votes cast for non-government parties and combined them into a fake unaffiliated “block for collaboration with the government (B. B. V. R.). Our candidate, Dr. Bristiger, received 31,000, however, the government “decided” that he received only 24,000 and therefore failed since the minimum number of votes was 27,0000[1]

According to the agreement,

[Columns 215-216]

all the Zionist organizations and parties were supposed to work without any reservations in support of our candidate. An explicit country-wide agreement was in place. However, we would not be lying by stating today what every child in the city knew then, that the rival parties did not act to fulfill that agreement. The entire burden of the campaign and the personal risk involved in handling the campaign fell solely on the shoulders of the “Hit'akhdut” members.

Our party city's secretariat organized annual district-wide rallies that no other party managed to organize or hold. Hundreds of members from all the towns and distanced places gathered for enormous Socialistic-Zionist demonstrations, organized tastefully, where the best of our country leaders gave speeches to large crowds of the party members and its fans. On the stage of these district rallies, the following people gave speeches: Dr. Avraham Levinson, Dr. Kopel Schwartz, Dr. Gur-Arye Terlo, Yosef Levi, Dr. Tartokover, Fishel Werber, and Dr. Tzvi Heller. The Ternopil district rallies acquired a name for themselves throughout the entire country.

In the election to the [Zionist] Congresses, our party broke the monopole of the conservative parties and received a substantial number of votes (second place after the General Zionists). It also provided an essential contribution to the Eretz Israel labor faction. Dr. Orenstein was elected several times, as a representative to the Zionist congresses. The platform of the Eretz Israel labor movement penetrated the awareness of many of the Jewish community in the city, and they expressed their trust in the “Hit'akhdut's” Zionist activity. Just as our representative to the Polish Sejm knew to bring up new topics for debate in the Sejm (like the demand for the government's support of training the pioneers who were making Aliya, and for assistance to the movement for productization of the diaspora's Jews) so did our emissaries to the [Zionist] congresses know to fight for a change of values, and firming the democratization of the Zionist life.


Activities related to the present situation:

That activity occurred within the Jewish community, its institutions, and the municipality. Our community [council] representative, Dr. Y. Tzellermayer, fought vigorously against those who advocated the preservation of the old regime in the community. He demanded fitting that autonomous institution to the Zionist spirit and the needs of the working masses in the city. His brilliant speeches, with realistic content, built on the principles of the Zionist labor movement, made a huge impression and often led to the acceptance of our proposals. The old generation people were astonished to see the young doctor who dared to “break” the traditional line in the Jewish community, as was formulated in the past.

Dr. Orenstein, our representative at the municipality, where a harsh and hostile atmosphere toward the Jews prevailed, fought in the battles for the Jewish needy. He vigorously demanded the remedy of the perpetual injustice toward the Jewish neighborhoods in the city. He also demanded to award support to social assistance programs, employment of Jewish workers in the municipality's projects, support for the Jewish educational institutions, and improvements in the living conditions of the Jewish poor in the city. He condemned the indifferent attitude toward the sanitary conditions in the Jewish neighborhoods and the lack of roads and sewers - problems that the Christian city leaders never thought to address.


General social institutions:

When it was still possible (without interference by the political regime in the country), our members participated in the operation of the general city and district HMO. Avraham Goldenberg, Shmuel Kermish, and Yosef Brinstein were our talented elected representatives of the Jewish working class to that district supervision committee of that institution.


Members of the “Hit'akhdut” in Ternopil

[Columns 217-218]

They spoke on behalf of the public about introducing medical assistance to the Jewish working masses, improving the medical institutions, and easing the tax burden imposed on the workers.


Charity Fund:

Our members organized and established a charity fund by providing cash loans to the needy of the working class, for purchasing working tools, assisting poor artisans, and providing loans for the productization of many Jews in the city. The fund handled its activity quietly and humbly but was a blessing for an important class in the community.


Professional Unions:

A lot of attention was devoted by the “Hit'akhdut” to the establishment of professional unions among the Jewish workers in the city. Three such unions were established: trade workers and accountants, semesters, and porters. The establishment of these organizations boosted the image of the workers in the eyes of the public and in their own eyes. The possibilities associated with a unified and organized body raised the worker's self-confidence.


Activities within the Zionist institutions:

Our members captured principal positions in all Zionist institutions, and managed the activities dedicatedly and with pioneering volunteerism.

In the “Keren Kayment Le'Israel” [KKL-JNF], headed for many years by our member Schwartz, the following members were active: Miriam Slepter, Azriel Guliger, Dov Grueberg, Shmuel Kermish, Moshe Greenfeld, Yehoshua Sigal, and Arye Bronstein. These members visited homes, collected funds in synagogues, parties, weddings, and balls, and worked tirelessly to collect money for the fund of KKL-JNF. They invented new ways of establishing new far-reaching circles for the benefit of the fund. They were the life and soul of the fund activities in the city.

Our members Dr. Tzellermayer, Dr. Rottstein, and Dr. Orenstein worked for many years for “Keren HaYesod” [“Foundation Fund” or UIA - “United Israel Appeal”].


The Ternopil Committee of K.K.L. (National Fund)


The method there was a bit different. It was less involved with the masses and was based on contributions by wealthy individuals, such as rich merchants and owners of properties. Our members also solicited contributions from the middle class and people of means within the party. The members' public appearances on behalf of “Keren HaYesod” raised its image in the eyes of the public.

The fund for the workers of Eretz Israel was under the leadership of our member, Dr. Sh. Orenstein, and the fund's secretary was Arye Bronstein. District gatherings were held, and the activities of the funds widened.


Cultural Activities:

In addition to teachers, our member Nathan Ostern was active on behalf of the “Hit'akhdut” in the organization “Tarbut” [“Culture”]. The students came from among the members of the “Hit'akhdut” and its branches, members of the “HeKhalutz” [“The Pioneer”] organization, and various youth organizations. The majority of the educational material was concentrated around Eretz Israel and the contribution of the labor movement to building the homeland.

The “Hit'akhdut” also organized a drama club headed by Shraga Mistrikh-Alufi. The club was active for several seasons and helped develop the understanding and appreciation of modern Jewish dramatic art.

The masterpiece of the cultural activity of the “Hit'akhdut” party was the library of the “Gideon” organization, under the management of Dr. Orenstein, Mendel Nisbaum, Avraham Goldenberg, Moshe Greenfeld, Azriel Morkes, and others. Everyone worked to foster that project.

The “Hit'akhdut” experienced an important turning point with the establishment of the pioneering youth union “Gordonia”, the student union “Kadima” [“Forward”][2], and the Aliya organization of the craftsmen “HaOved” [“The Worker”]

During the years of big Aliya, the “Hit'akhdut” party organized the craftsmen and people of various professions in an Aliya organization, “HaOved”. The organization was headed by our member Shmaryahu Pechnik. The time was insufficient to develop a wide-reaching activity because our horrible enemy put an end to everything. The organization generated excitement and interest among the craftsmen, but only a few were lucky to make Aliya.

Another branch of the “Hit'akhdut” party was the “Boslia” organization. The goal of that pioneering union was to organize “Hakhshara” [Training] for the party members and its fans and thus prepare a pioneering reserve unit for the party. The training enabled the trainees to make Aliya in unified groups, based on the common experience, of living together at the branch and the “Hakhshara”. “Boslia” union developed during the 1930s increased the pioneering excitement in the city and also succeeded to train many pioneers for Aliya. The first nucleus of “Bolsia” unified and settled in the kibbutz “Kiryat Anavim”.

Our members, Y. Sigal, M. Greenspan, G. Katz, Margalit, and others, headed the organizational and education activities in “Boslia”.

Author's Notes:

  1. See the article by Tzvi Parnas, columns 198 and 207. Return
  2. See next chapter Return

[Columns 219-220]

“Poalei Tzion” [“Workers of Zion”]

by Tzvi Weisbersht, Dr. A. Avishur (Werber)

Translated by Moshe Kutten

The Socialistic-Zionist activity, which was later embodied by the “Poalei Tzion” party, began with a small group called “Ahavat Tzion” [“Love of Zion”] headed by its members, Sirkes, Sapir, and Tzinker. That group was active before the death of Herzl. Over time Weisbersht, Bilfeld, Lorber, Glazer, Shaper, and others joined the group. After the death of Herzl, the group changed its name to “Bnei Herzl” [“The sons of Herzl”]. For some time, it was hosted by “Bar Kokhba”, and later on moved to its own apartment on Ruska Street.

That was a period of frenzy. Some Jewish youths were members of the PPS [“Polska Partia Socjalistyczna”, or “Polish Socialist Party”]. But many who were called “separatists”, fought for an independent Jewish socialist party like the PPS. The studying youth established the “Bar Kokhba” organization. However, some youths did not find their place in either of these movements and wished to combine the [Zionist] idea of national revival with the socialistic ideology, similar to the ZPS [“Zydowski Partia Socjalistyczna”]. They search for a Socialistic-Zionistic home. In the beginning, these were just quite foggy ideas and were not shaped into a formal ideology. That lasted until a refugee from Russia, a carpenter by the name of Tabachnik, who was a member of the Russian “Poalei Tzion”, arrived at Ternopil. He escaped the pogrom in Kishinev and breathed a new life into the ranks of the movement's followers in Ternopil[1].

The founding conference, which laid down the foundations for the “Poalei Tzion” movement in Galitsia, gathered in Lviv a short while later.

The first steps of the new party were not easy. At the time, an arduous struggle by the workers was taking place. The workers demanded improvements in their working conditions, shortening of the work day, which lasted 14 – 16 hours then, increasing the pay, etc… The existing socialistic movements PPS and ZPS led the struggle, and the masses followed them. However, the “Poalei Tzion” movement did not have a party's literature, which defined its goals and views. The literature was needed to give the members the ideological weapon to fight its rivals, the PPS and the ZPS, who were equipped with rich folklore and scientific-based socialistic literature.

Luckily, relief came in the form of Dr. Daniel Pasmanik's book: “The Theory and Practice of “Poalei Tzion”. Dr. Pasmanik, who visited Ternopil, generated excitement with his lectures, which contained an excellent deep analysis of the fate of the Jewish nation in the diaspora, its place in the economic system, and the dangers that a socialistic win may bring to the Jewish masses in the diaspora”[2]. The book of Dr. Pasmanik, his lectures, and the publishing of the weekly magazine “Yiddisher Arbeiter” [“The Jewish Worker”] offered a substantial contribution to the dissemination of the “Poalei Tzion” ideas and to the widening of its influence among the masses. Reinforcement of the movement arrived when the war between Russia and Japan broke out. Many Jews escaped Russia, including some excellent speakers, who helped in the development of the party with their skills and experience.

The following people were among the activists at that time: Shwartzapel (in New York at the date of publication), Tzuger (New York), Bahara”l [R' Avraham Yosef (?), Son of Rabbi Leib], Avram Shterholtz, Sobel, Goldstein, Vestel, Pendler, Shtekel, and others. Many of the school's students joined the party. Among them were Shimon Peler, who excelled in his knowledge of socialistic literature and served as an expert on theoretical issues, and A. Werber (today, A. Avishur).

What made “Poalei Tzion” viewed favorably by the masses was the party's positive attitude toward the Yiddish language. In their conference in Chernivtsi [Czernowitz] a resolution was obtained about the Yiddish being the national language of the Jews. Among the many of the participants of that conference who visited Ternopil were prominent figures like Sh. Asch, Y. L. Peretz, Z. Reizen, H. D. Nomberg, and others. They strengthened the national [revival] idea among the youth in their lectures.

After a relatively short period, representatives of the city intelligentsia, such as Dr. I. Waldman. M. Khartiner. Dr. Ph. Korngruen, Dr. Tzin, and Dr, Bigel, drew near the movement and helped it with their education and speeches, which conquered the hearts of their listeners.

Slowly, the area of influence of “Poalei Tzion” widened, and branches of the party were established in all the towns of the district.

Author's Notes:

  1. See the article by Dr. P. Korngruen, Column 124. Return
  2. Ibid Return

[Columns 221-222]

The Z. P. S – “Bund”
- The Jewish Socialist Party

by Arnold Himelbrandt & Israel Grinberg

Translated by Moshe Kutten

The Austrian Socialistic party ruled the workers' movement until the end of the 19th century. Citizens of the nations that populated the Austrian Empire were all members of its ranks. The tendency to establish national socialistic parties that would operate among the masses, in their own language, and according to their national aspirations and special needs heightened with the trend of strengthening the national consciousness.

To allow for these tendencies, which undermined the foundation of the Austrian empire, to express themselves the congress of the Austrian socialistic party, held in Bern in 1899, announced “the principle of national and cultural autonomy for every nation and people”. As a result of that announcement, the Polish Socialistic Party - Polaska Partia Socjalistyczna or P.P.S. and the Ukrainian Socialistic Party or U.P.S. were established.

A Jewish socialistic party has not yet been formed then because the national ideology spread among the masses under the influence of the Zionist movement and the “Bund” in Russia. The Galitsian Jewish members of the P.P.S. objected to that idea since most of them were assimilators who rejected the whole idea of a Jewish nation. A while later, under the pressure from the Jewish public opinion and reality, the PPS had to relent and agree to establish professional guilds for the Jewish workers under the authority of the center of professional guilds in Vienna. Over time, the guilds became the nucleus of the Jewish Socialistic Party, Z.P.S. (Zydowska Partia Socjalistyczna).

The struggle against the negative attitude of the leaders of the Polish and Austrian socialistic movements against the demands of the Jewish masses to establish their own socialistic party lasted until 1905. Dr. Henrik Grossman from Krakow, the initiator of the idea of a Jewish Socialistic party, headed that struggle. He was aided by Dr. Eintzigler, R. Birenbaum, A. Fakh from Lviv, and Dr. Brass from Krakow. These people ran a vigorous propaganda campaign. In that campaign, which they ran in Yiddish, the language of the masses, they pointed at the harsh conditions under which the Jewish masses lived and the need to form a Jewish socialistic party to represent the working Jews and fight for their right to improve their social and national standing.

Like in other cities of Galitsia, a special committee of the Jewish party, headed by Dr. Zlatkes, Dr. Nusbrekher, Y. Birpas, Y. Goldstein, and Tepperberg, was formed in Ternopil. The committee in Krakow managed the entire activity.

The foundation for the ZPS party was laid in the congress of the Jewish Socialistic Party gathered in Lviv in June 1906. Israel Grinberg, Y. Birpas, Y. Goldstein, and A Tepperberg participated in that congress from Ternopil.

The professional guilds active at that time joined the party however, they continued to report to the center of the professional guilds in Vienna.

That situation lasted until the break of the First World War. With the establishment of the Polish state, the need to unify the socialistic movement throughout the country arose. At the time, the “Bund” was active in Congressional Poland, and its influence among the masses was substantial. At the congress in Krakow, held in 1920, it was decided to unify the “Bund” and the ZPS. The unified party was headquartered in Warsaw.

The unique conditions prevailing in Galitsia after the war and the administrative pressure by the authorities worked against the socialistic movement particularly since the working class in that agricultural region was very small and its influence among the population was insignificant.

Being between the rock [Polish authorities) and the Ukrainian hard place and the choking atmosphere of antisemitism and national oppression, the masses were not attracted to the ZPS ideology. The party's ideals seemed to be divorced from reality or, at a minimum, valid only sometime in the future. They were attracted by the ideas of the national and socialistic revival in Eretz Israel. The propaganda of the Zionist-Socialistic with all of its branches, could point to real political achievements (Balfour Declaration, San Remo Declaration, agricultural settlements in Eretz Israel, etc..), had a fertile land to grow - an alert national spirit and a strong yearning for redemption from the poor social and national state. On the other side - some (albite only a few) were attracted by the Communist Party's propaganda.

That propaganda excited the imagination with the achievements of the Russian Revolution and promised to solve all the economic and national problems immediately.

Under those conditions, the influence of the ZPS - “BUND” party in Galitsia became so insignificant that it did not manage to enter even a single representative in the community and the municipality. That was true throughout its entire existence until the break of the Second World War. Although the party did not withdraw from the political arena, it was forced mainly to concentrate on the cultural and professional areas.

[Columns 223-224]


by Tova Sanhedrai (Dimend)

Translated by Moshe Kutten

The Ternopil “HaMizrakhi” movement with all of its branches included its youth movements “Torah VeAvoda” [“Torah and Work”], “HeKhalutz Mizrakhi” [“Mizrakhi Pioneer”], and “Bnei Akiva” [“Sons of Akiva”].

The “HaMizrakhi” party reorganized in 1920, was a lively and ebullient Zionist movement that fought vigorously for the Zionism idea and Aliya to Ertz Israel.

The road of the founders was not rosy. The Zionist idea was not popular among specific circles of Polish Jewry, particularly among the religious Jews. However, due to the dedication and vigor of the trailblazers, the idea stroked roots and slowly conquered hearts.

The activists of the “HaMizrakhi” and “Torah & Avoda” movements placed propaganda, Hebrew-based education, and revival of the Hebrew language at the center of their Zionist activity. They established a network of Hakhshara [Training towards Aliya] kibbutzim. In 5686 [1925/6], they founded a Hebrew school by the name of Mata”t (acronym of MeTzion Tetze Torah - [from out of Zion the Torah will come]). The school network was spread over the entire Eastern Galitsia area. Hundreds of graduates came out of the school in Ternopil. Besides gaining knowledge of the Hebrew language, they were imbued with a deep religious Zionist conviction. Many of them made Aliya.

For the adults, “HaMizrakhi' organized lectures and lessons about Zionism, the Hebrew language, education, science, and more. These cultural activities influenced wide circles in the city. The movement grew and gained popularity with the public. We should note here that “HaMizrakhi” exerted a substantial influence on the Husiatyn Hassidim, so much so that they eventually began to send their youth the Eretz Israel. That fact is noteworthy in light of the negative attitude of most of the Hasidism movement toward the Zionist idea.

The members of the “HaMizrakhi” took a substantive active role in every Zionist activity in the city, including activities that benefitted the “KKL-JNF”, “Keren HaYesod” funds, and more.

During the same time, the “HaMizrakhi” movement founded the bank of “HaMizrakhi” in Eretz Israel. The organization in Ternopil saw it as their honorable duty to help in the development of that economic institution in Eretz Israel and devoted itself to disseminating the stocks of that bank among its members and fans.

The religious youth was organized in “HaMizrakhi Youth”, and those who planned to make Aliya in “HeKhalutz HaMizrakhi”. The latter maintained agricultural training kibbutzim in provincial towns and crafts kibbutzim in the city.

It wasn't easy for the religious youth in those days, particularly the Yeshiva students, to transfer to collective and working life. Tremendous mental powers were required to leave home, against the parents' will, and move on to new life.


The Local Committee of “Mizrakhi”

From right to left – sitting (center): Z. Wahler, Teikhman, D. Parnas, I Biller, I. Walfish, Friedberg, A. Meiberger, I. Parnas, M. Fessel
Standing: Stolzenberg, Urbakh, Z. Ginsburg, Wallakh, Milgraum


At the training camps, the members received physical and spiritual training. Quite a few members were absorbed in the religious settlement in Eretz Israel.

The adolescents were organized in the “Bnei Akiva” movement. In addition to the religious-Zionist education and the Hebrew language, they also received training in scouting and sports. These youths participated enthusiastically in any Zionists activity, particularly in collecting monies for the KKL-JNF.

“HaMizrakhi” ensured that it was represented in the community [council]. Its representatives exerted a great influence there and benefitted the Zionist movement.

The best of the adult and young members prepared for an Aliya to Eretz Israel, but only a few were fortunate to fulfill their aspirations. The rest met a bitter fate when the Holocaust befell the Polish Jewry.

We need to mention some of the activists who distinguished themselves the most

[Columns 225-226]

In their activities, and contributed greatly, from their ideas and time to the work of the movement. Unfortunately, it was not possible to memorize them all, and we have undoubtfully skipped over many dedicated activists. We ask for their forgiveness.

Yitzkhak Walfish. He was attracted to the religious Zionist idea in his youth and was among the first organizers of “HaMizrakhi”. At the time of the book's publication, in Canada.


The Committee of “Mizrakhi” Youth-Organization

From right to left – sitting: Joseph Landau, Khaviva Glikman (Ganz), Khaim Baron, Tzipora Shiferman, Hirsh Lindman
Standing: Israel Messing, M. M. Margolis, Yehuda Feld, Moshe Wolfenhut, Yehoshua Wassermn


Zusia Wahler Z”L. A native of Ternopil. A scholar. Dedicated to the Zionist idea and to the dissemination of the Hebrew language among the youth. He was the principal of the Mata”t school, and the secretary of the “Tarbut” school

Avraham Meiberger Z”L. One of the first members and founders of the movement. He was the “HaMizrakhi's” representative in the community council.

Yitzkhak Biller Z”L. One of the activists. He handled the organization of the middle class towards Aliya.

Tzvi Friedberg Z”L. The chairman of “HaMizrakhi”. Educated his son in the spirit of religious Zionism. They were all members of the “Torah & Avoda” youth movement. One of his sons was killed during Israel's Independence War.

Dr, Eliyahu Markus Z”L. A native of Ternopil. He was a scholar student. He organized the Hebrew school after the First World War, while he was still young. In 1924, he moved to Krakow and became the chairman of “HaMizrakhi” in Western Galitsia. At 28, he was elected as “HaMizrakhi's” representative to Krakow's city council. He returned to Ternopil with his family during the Holocaust to liquidate his businesses and perished there.

Mordekhai Fessel. A native of Ternopil. One of the activists of “HaMizrakhi and “Torah & Avoda”. He was ordained as a rabbi by Rabbi Steinberg from Brody. He was the vice chairman of HaMizrakhi. He was in Israel at the time of the book publication.

Yehoshua Parnas Z”L. The son of the rabbinical judge Rabbi Israel Parnas Z”L. He was a native of Ternopil and the “HaMizrakhi's” representative to the community council.

Gedalia Kornberg Z”L. A scholar. He was one of the initiators of the committee for Aliya and agricultural settlement by the name of “Ternopil Estate”.

Sander Goldberg Z”L. Dedicated to his friends. His home was a distinguished Zionist home, where the Hebrew language ruled.

Mikhael Shiferman Z”L. A scholar student. He fulfilled the ideology of “Torah & Avoda” in all aspects [except one]. He did not make Aliya to Eretz Israel.

Tzipora Shiferman Z”L. A native of Ternopil. One of the prominent leaders of “Torah & Avoda” in the city. She attained high education in Hebrew and served as a Hebrew teacher. She also taught the language in many other clubs. She was the life of the movement's leadership. Her only wish she could not fulfill was to join the movement of “HaPoel HaMizrakhi” [“The HaMizrakhi Worker”] in Eretz Israel. She passed away tragically.

Shmuel Weissman Z”L. One of the leaders of the movement “HaMizrakhi youth”. He was a scholar student and an educated man. One of the central pillars of the movement. He was a Hebrew teacher. During the [Second World] War, he went into exile in Russia, and we lost all traces of him.

Yehuda Feld. One of the leaders of “Torah & Avoda” and one of its prominent activists. At the time of publication, he was in the U.S.

Rivka Feld (Tarif) Z”L. One of the activists, Dedicated to the movement's ideas and activities.

Tova Dimend (Sanhedrai). A native of Ternopil. One of the leaders of “Torah & Avoda” and “HeKhalutz HaMizrakhi”. The movement's representative to the conference in Lviv in 1932. Responsible for managing the pioneer Hakhshara [Training for Aliya] around the city. At the time of publication, in Israel.

Mendel Haiman Z”L. A scholar. A Hebrew teacher. The student of Rabbi Baba”d ZTz”L. One of the central pillars of the movement.

[Columns 227-228]

Khaim Baron Z”L. For many years, a member of the management team of the movement “Torah & Avoda” and one of its distinguished activists.

Ze'ev Wilner Z”L. “HaMizrakhi's” secretary and one of its prominent activists.

Eliyahu Shwartzman Z”L. Headed “Bnei Akiva”, and one of the excelled activists of the KKL-JNF work in the city.

The following are the members of the committees who managed the daily work:

Itamar Teikhman Z”L, Pesakh Tzvi Katz Z”L, Kopel Yaffe Z”L, Khana Glikman Z”L, Mendel Margalit Z”L, Israel Messing (in Israel at time of publication), Yisaskhar Friedberg Z”L, Yehoshua Wasserman Z”L, Shmuel Tzoref Z”L, Khava Gernik Z”L, Tzipora Shikler Z”L, Ze'ev Rethoiz Z”L, Eliezer Neigeboren Z”L, Moshe Wolfhoit Z”L, Yosef Landau and Khaviva Glikman (Ganz) (in Israel at time of publication), Hirsch Lindman Z”L, Moshe Altzofrom (In Israel; at time of publication), Shmuel Tirkel Z”L, and others.

“Tif'eret HaDat” [“The Splendor of Religion”]
and “Agudat Israel”

by Dr. Hillel Zeidman

Translated by Moshe Kutten

The drive for unification within the religious Jewry became apparent during the last years before the First World War. That was the period of the establishment of “HaMizrakhi” (1902) and “Agudat Israel” (1912). The echoes of these organizations reached Ternopil after the Zionist unions, such as the academic “Bar Kokhba” (1902), were already active. As a mimicry of competition, the religious Jews began to organize themselves. They wanted to defend against the new movements and act to strengthen the religion.

The idea of establishing an organization of Haredi Jews with a local characteristic (without an affiliation with the country-wide or worldwide movements such as “HaMizrakhi” or “Agudat Israel”), surfaced in 1913. The name of that organization was “Tif'eret HaDat”. Its founders, activists, and Haredi donors were: R' David Lvov, R' Ya'akov Breitman along with his sons-in-law, and the distinguished scholars - Rabbi Meir Shapira (who later gained fame as the Rabbi of Lublin), R' Moshe Rozner, R' Leibush Arak, and R' Baruk Veksler. The other founders were: R' Lippa Tirkel and his sons, Feivel, Yekhiel, Shmuel, and Shlomo, R' Shmeril Eikhenbaum, R' Mordekhai Eingler, and more. Most of them were traders, rich estate owners, or otherwise wealthy. They donated substantial sums to purchase the building of “Tif'eret HaDat”. The building, located on the corner of Sobieski square, was one of the most splendid mansions in the city. Before that, a Catholic teachers seminary was housed in it.

During the First World War, it was not easy being a homeowner due to the oppression exerted by the conquering Russian regime. The leaders of “Tif'eret HaDat” had to sell the building. However, toward the end of the war, the value of the money obtained from the sale of the building diminished due to the devaluation of the currency, and the leaders regretted selling the building, which was carried out improperly under duress. After long negotiations and a judgment by the rabbinical court, the leaders received the building back. However, their worries were not over since the largest hall in the building was occupied by the academic organization “Bar Kokhba”. After negotiations, “Bar Kokhba” left the large hall on the second floor and moved to another hall on the first floor. “Tif'eret HaDat” moved to the large hall vacated by “Bar Kokhba”.

The housing of “Tif'eret HaDat” in a spacious and splendid hall served as a tremendous push for the development of that union. It acquired large numbers of members. The union was subjected to the influence of “Agudat Israel” through its leaders, who were members of “Agudat Israel” [party]. That influence was exerted, particularly through R' Moshe Rozner and his son Yehoshua, R' Shmeril Eikhenbaum, R' Horowitz, and others, The local branch of “Agudat Israel” was also housed in the building in the same hall where the religious school for girls “Beit Ya'akov” was housed. As a result, the boundaries between the apolitical “Tif'eret HaDat” (some of its members belonged to “HaMizrakhi”) and “the party of “Agudat Israel” became blurred until the two organizations unified.

An important activity was carried out by “Tze'irei Aguadt Israel” [The Youths of Agudat Israel”], founded in 1927 by Tzvi Horwitz, the grandson of R' David Lvov”. He was an educated and skilled scholar. Unfortunately, he was killed in a train accident in Nowy Sacz [Santz], in 1931.

Thanks to the leaders of “Agudat Israel” and “Tze'irei Agudat Israel”, the party became an important factor in the public life of Ternopil's Jews between the two World Wars. It achieved a substantial representation in the management of the community and all the public institutions.


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