Memorial Book of the community of Vileyka

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Translation of
Sefer zikaron kehilat
Wilejka ha-mehozit,
pelekh Vilna

Edited by Kalman Farber and Joseph Se'evi

Published in Tel Aviv, 1972



Project Coordinator

Eilat Gordin Levitan

Our sincere appreciation to Shaul Farber and Reuven Norman, of the Wilejka Society,
for permission to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

This is a translation from: Sefer zikaron kehilat Wilejka ha-mehozit, pelekh Vilna
(Memorial book of the community of Vileyka),
ed. Kalman Farber, Joseph Se'evi, Tel Aviv, Wilejka Society, 1972 (328 pages, H, Y, E)

Note: The original book can be seen online at the NY Public Library site: Vileika

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Translated by Eilat Gordin Levitan

Dates in the Life of the Town   ix
Words of the Editorial Committee   xi
Foreword   xii
Chapters from the History
Crown of Lament to the Nation of Israel (a poem) Uri Tzvi Greenberg xv
Vileyka, the Town Shlomo Chaim Dubin 1
The Economic Structure Chaim Shalom Kopelowitz 9
Industry and Commerce During the Polish Rule Kalman Farber 12
      a. Paved Roads
      b. Dirt Roads
      c. The Arrival of Trains in Vileyka
      d. The River Vilya and the Railroad Tracks

Kalman Farber
Kalman Farber
Chaim Shalom Kopelowitz
Kalman Farber
      a. Health Conditions in Town
      b. The City Hospital
      c. The Regional Hospital
      d. Bathhouses

Kalman Farber
Shlomo Chaim Dubin
K. N.
K. N.
Religious Institutions

Prayer Homes, Societies and Institutions

Kalman Farber 17
The Hasidic Movement Kalman Farber 21
Visits by the Hasidic Rabbi from Koydanov Chaim Shalom Kopelowitz 22
Public Institutions, Education and Culture
a. Cheders in the Shtetl K. N. 25
b. Talmud Torah (the Melamed from Rakov) Shmuel Epstein 25
c. Reb Israel Kopelowitz Shmuel and Aron Epstein 25
d. The Melamed Reb Zalman Yosef Scherlett Shlomo Chaim Dubin 26
e. The Cheder of Mordechai Eliezer Rabinovich – Reb Avraham
    ("der Terk")
Y. K.-Z. 26
g. Reb David Shlomo son of Meir Plavnik – Cheder for Girls K. Norman 27
h. The Melamed Reb Yoel Kapilovich K. Norman 27
i. The School for Girls Chaim Shalom Kopelowitz 27
j. The Small Yeshiva – Cheder Metukan   28
k. The Last Cheders   28
l.  The Secular Russian Schools – the Polish Gymnasium (High School) K. N. 28
The Hebrew Schools "Herzelia" Yosef Ze'evi 29
A Building for the Tarbut School Shlomo Chaim Dubin 31
Our School Tarbut and its Destruction – The Last Principal
      a. My Teacher and Rabbi, Reb Shmuel Rodinski
      b. The Establishment of the first Library
      c. The Library named for Shalom Aleichem

Tuvya Norman
Chaim Shalom Kopelowitz
S. Dinnestein

Drama Club – The Boycott of German Movies M. & L. 34
The Zionist Movement
Funds of Gmilat Chesed, Interest Free Loans – The Local Bank K. R. 35
Gmilat Chesed During the 1920s Menachem Adir (Rodnitsky) 36
Social Welfare and Relief Institutions
Movements and Parties Chaim Shalom Kopelowitz 37
a. The Zionist Labor Party (Hitachdut) Yosef Ze'evi 40
b. Brit Haz'haar – Ben Zion Norman Moshe L. 41
c. He'chalutz Y. Ben Shaul 42
d. Hashomer Ha Leumi various members 42
e. Summer Training in Taklinopol Moshe Shlovodsky 44
f. Beitar-Keren Tel Chai – The Last Inspection Moshe L. 46
g. Hashomer Ha'zair Movement Moshe Shulman 49
h. Religious Parties K.-R. 50
i. Funds for the Keren Kayemet for Israel Yakov Kopelowitz 51
j. The Hebrew Corner – The International Hebrew Brit Ben Amram 52
k. From the Archives of a Veteran Zionist (Yakov Levin, Z"L) K.-R. 54
Personalities and Characters – Rabbis and others
  1. Rabbi Yitzhak Parlov, Z"TZL Yakov Mashitz 55
  2. Electing a Rabbi – Torah Lessons A. S. Zusmann 56
  3. The Last Rabbi of Vileyka (Machaneh Yehuda) Yakov Mashitz, son of the Rabbi 57
  4. The Genius Rabbi Yehuda Mashitz – Mara De Atra Shlomo Chaim Dubin 58
  5. Nachum Hillel Kopelowitz – The Book of the Congress   58
  6. The House of My Grandfather   58
  7. The Shochet, Reb Itzhak Itza Katzovitz   58
  8. The Rabbi "mitaam"   58
  9. The Mitnaged (Reb Shimon Mordechai Halevi Horovitz) Avraham Shaul Zusmann 59
10.  Reb Avraham Zalman Landau Chaim Shalom Kopelowitz 60
11. My Father's Home Chaim Shalom Kopelowitz 60
12. Reb Zalman Bar Fistonovich Moshe Itza Shulman 60
13. Reb Mordechai Kopelowitz – Reb Yakov Kopelowitz (Hashil"s) Chaim Shalom Kopelowitz 61
14. Aunt Yohevet Zagermister Tz. Bat Shaul 62
15. One Big Family (Kolbak / Kebesh) Batya Ben Ari 62
16. Reb Yehudah Predus K. R. 63
17. Reb Yakov Levin Yosef Ze'evi 63
18. Our Father, Reb Yakov Levin (Efron) Esther Kopelowitz-Levi Levin 63
19. Reb Zacharia Kopelowitz A. S. Zusman 67
20. Akiva Son of Zacharia Kopelowitz Chaim Shalom Kopelowitz 67
21. Professor Paltiel Daikan née Dikstein S. Dikstein 68
22. Yitzhak Mordechai Norman Chaim Shalom Kopelowitz 69
23. Menachem Adir Rodnitshy Ze'ev Igeret 69
Impressions and Remembrance
Vileyka during the Years Between the Wars Aharon Meirovich 71
Memories from the First World War Avraham Soloviechik 72
Elections for the Municipality – Shavuot Holiday, 1920 Chaim Shalom Kopelowitz 73
From my Memories Hasia Greenhoy Gozovsky 74
From Platova in Ukraine via Vileyka to the Land of Israel Yair El-Chanani 75
My Shtetl Reuben Kogel 75
The Flood Perez Shulman 75
The Big Fire – Dr. Dillon on Leave Y. K-z 76
The Debate of the Hazan-Shochet Schlomo Chaim Dubin 76
Drafting into the Russian Army Chaim Shalom Kopelowitz 76
The Beylis Trial (1913) Shlomo Chaim Dubin 76
Celebrations in Town – Bringing in the Torah Scroll Tz. – Bat Shaul 77
Immigration and Wandering Chaim Shalom Kapilovich 77
Vileyka natives in Israel   78
Baruch (Binyamin) Brunstein Kalman Farber 79
A Letter in English by Moshe Dayan to a Vileyker   79
The Society of Vileykans and Surrounding Area in Israel, 1971
(pictures and names)
Head Committee 80
On The Eve Of The Holocaust
Vileyka under Soviet Rule, 1939-1941 M. Ben Shem and M. Landau 83
On the Eve of the Second World War K. Reuveni 85
A Zionist Family in Siberia Pesia Norman 88
In the Tundra of Siberia Allen (Aharon) Eidelman (Cleveland, 1965) 89
The Holocaust
In the Jaws of the Nazi Beast, Memories of a Vileykan Partisan Yosef Norman 93
Vileyka Natives in the Vilna Ghetto, a Diary Kalman Farber 110
From Ghetto Kovno to the Dachau Concentration Camp Yitzhak Kopelowitz 119
Memories from Warsaw Ghetto Yehuda Kopelowitz 120
Besieged Yehoash Alperovich 121
A Struggle for Life Ze'ev Rabunski 123
The Martyrs of our Town
The Rabbi Reb Moshe Klein (Son in law of the Rabbi) Kalman Farber 137
Reb Eliyau Leib Zugermeister Tz. – Bat Shaul 137
Reb Aharon Lamphart – the Mother of the House (Nachama Burshtein-Levin) Kalman Farber 138
Images in the Eyes of Passersby
(Dr. Shimshelewitz, Niema Gutman, Mordechai Epstein, Shimon Kopelowitz, Baruch Swidler, Yitzhak Goldberg, Noach the shochet, Yeshaya Eidelman)
K. Reuveni 138
Our Home (Sara Reyzel and Binyamin Gutman) daughter S. Avni (Kfar Menachem) and Yosef Ze'evi 139
Lipa Guttman K. and R. Y. 139
Our Family, Moshe, son of Simcha Svirsky and Miryam, daughter of Yeachmiel Rodansky daughter Chaia Svirsky El-Chanani 139
Meir, son of Avraham Zalman Landau M. Achi Meir 141
Avraham and Genia Kopelowitz and their children, Mirale and Moshale   141
Avraham Norman daughter in law, Pesia Norman 141
My Parents, Sara-Batia from Horodok and Ben Zion Moshe Norman 141
A Religious Writer in Beitar Uniform, Shlomo Chaim Lewin Moshe Landau 142
The Simple Folks Batya Ben Ari 143
My Forefathers, the Kalka Family Nachama née Kalka Melberger 144
Baruch Shulman, my brother M. Shulman 145
"The Albino", Yosef Varnikovsky   145
Reuven Norman   145
Rafael "Falia" Norman   145
Nachum "Nyanka" Lapidot   145
Banka Alperovich, lost in Minsk…   146
Shmuel "Mulke" Levinson, lost in the Red Army…   146
Pesach Levinson, lost with family in Astonia camp… M. Landau 146
Rachel née Dubin Bikiels daughter of Shlomo Chaim and Dora Dubin her parents 146
The Three cousins from Vileyka – the Martyrs
Siama Svirsky (son of Batia and Yehoshua), Avrasha Keves (son of Mina and Shlomo) and Avrasha Lifshitz (son of Rivka and Yitzhak)
Kalman Farber 148
Fallen as Heroes
Fallen as Heroes   150
The Holy Martyr, Moshe Berman Kalman Farber 150
The Partisan Noah Dinnerstein Z. G. 150
My Brother Noah Chana née Dinnerstein Melberger 151
The Partisan Chaim Tzihok from the town Retzke M. Landau 151
Riva née Ancelevich and her Husband Lunyah Schneirson   152
Berta Dimmenstein from the Village Kalafi Kalman Farber 152
After the Holocaust
Vileyka in the Years 1946-1957 Ch. Shulman and M. Landau 153
On the Way to the Land of Israel Yosef Norman 154
Vileykans who fell in Defense of the Jewish Land
Baruch Vurevich (son of Mala and Yitzhak Mendel) Yosef Ze'evi and Yakov Levin 156
Ze'v, son of Reuven Finger Mina, his mother 157
Yakov Hadari, son of Chaim and Batia Greenhaus Isaac Ramba 158
Yitzhak Rolnick, son of Genia and Avraham from the Memorial Bool to Reuven Avinoam 158
Binyamin Shulman Simcha and Belah, his parents 158
Eternal Testament, the Commemoration Dates   159
Woe to You, a poem Itzhak Katzenelson 160
Second Part [Yiddish]
  Kalman Farber 163
  Chaim Shalom Kapilovich 167
  Shlomo Chaim Dubin 177
Vileyka in the Geography Lexicon of Warsaw from 1893   187
Vileyka during the years 1930-1937   188
Synagogues and Religiuous Study Institutions Kalman Farber 193
Rabbis in Vileyka Kalman Farber 195
Yitzhak Parlov   196
Lipa Guttman   197
Zionist Movements and Institutions
Zionism Chaim Shalom Kopelowitz 199
G'milat Chesed in Vileyka Chanan Svirsky 201
Yakappa (Funds for Rebuilding) Kalman Farber 202
Drama Club Chaim Shalom Kopelowitz and Yakov Kreidel 203
Youth Movement Herut Ve'tchia Nachemya Kur 204
Maccabee (a sports organization) David Cherner 205
The Fire Brigade in 1918 C. S. Kopelowitz 207
The Firemen Benjamin Bronstein, Massachusetts 208
Memories And Episodes
My Childhood Baruch Zuckerman 209
Holy Days Chaim S. Kopelowitz 212
Memories Yeheszkel Greenhoys 213
My Home Dov Taitz 215
My Shtetl Enya Battus Eidelman 217
Yiddish Chadel Abramovich 219
The Yiddish Mother Sender L. 220
The Gabbai Nachamya Kur 223
Reb Kalman Gutkin Plimenik M. 223
The High School (?) K. R. 224
Elie Yasha B. Taitz 224
The Family Gurevich Raia Gurevich 225
Shlomo Chaim, "the Tchavek"   226
Vileyka Societa in America Kalman Farber 228
The Destruction
In Exile in Siberia Shlomo Chaim Dubin 231
  Chaia Rashke 239
Near the Vilya Kalman Farber 242
Gehennum Memories
The Partisan Shmuel Muleh Norman 243
In the Stormy Years David Kopelowitz 272
  Shimshon Siama Kaplan 277
Memories Natan Kaznetz 280
The Blockade Chana Titleman Kaplan 281
Letters Nachum Alperovich 282
The "Akzia" in Vileyka Boris Breiniman 285
Three Massacres in Vileyka Rabbi Moshe Dreizen 286
In the Vilna Ghetto Kalman Farber 289
  Chadel Avramovich 298
  Kalman Farber 300
In the Cemetery in Ponar Kalman Farber 302
Yahrzeit Days   305
Poem Yitzhak Katzenelson 306
Vileyka and her Daughters – Small Communities near Vilevka
Ratzke   307
Sosenka   307
Kalafi   308
Nyakeh   308
Boshova   308
Viazin   309
Commemoration Pages
The List of the Martyrs who perished   311
Our Town's Natives who perished while serving in the Polish or Soviet Armies   319
Commemoration to the Souls of the Town Natives who passed away in Israel   319
The List of Martyrs of the Community of Viazin   320
The List of the Martyrs of the Village, Nyakeh, Memorial Pictures   320
English Section   321

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