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[Page 89]

The Sport Club “Maccabi”

by Sh. Sh., New York

Translated by Pamela Russ

The nationalist attuned youth in Wyszkow understood that other than [doing] general political, educational, and Zionist work, it was also necessary to attract the younger generation into their own sport society. To that end, the sport club “Maccabi” was established in the spring of 1927, where the youth, who had the Zionist ideal close to their heart, came.

Under the chairmanship of Shaul Stajnberg, the founding meeting was held in the home of Mendel Stelung. The meeting was conducted by the secretary Binyomin Brok. As I can remember, the participants were: Yitzchok Nudel, Esther Kurnet, Mendel Rosenberg, Yehuda Olshaker, Faige Bronstajn, Gitele Hiler, Bluma Zuzel, Khava Edelman, Shaul Grosbard (all now in Israel); Dina Rozenstajn (in Costa Rica); Yisroel Tenenbaum (in Argentina); Surtche Bzhuzha (in Cuba); and the holy martyrs Shimshon Erlikht, Yisroel Malina, Mikhal Holand, Zundel Elboim, Avrohom Banakh, Majcze Paniatczyk, Nekhama Bulmstajn, Yisroel Skarlat (the son), and Gitele Najmark. Of those who died – Khana Jakubowycz, Feivel Grinberg, Khava Krystal. I hope those whom I did not mention here because of my poor memory will forgive me.

The call of the founding meeting was taken up with enthusiasm by many of Wyszkower Jewish youth. Within a very short time, Macabbi grew into a large sports club…


From right: Yisroel Tenenboim, Goldman, Gurner, Zeltman, Mesing, Rotenberg, Lewiner, Blumstajn, Domb, Jagoda, Prager, Miera, Tandeczsat, Bzhuzha
Seated: Alenberg, Rotenberg, Zeltman


… that benefited from the moral and financial support of the majority of Zionist groups in the city.

The friends [chaveirim] Shimshon Erlikht and Yisroel Malina were hired as instructors and accomplished their work with great enthusiasm and commitment. The chaver Erlikht also successfully set up his own choir…

[Page 90]

…that appeared at almost all Maccabi events with great success.

The football section practiced regular activity and the athletic groups earned themselves a name in the region and were acknowledged by the Polish union of sports clubs in the Wyszkower circle.

The union [sports association], known by the initials W.O.Z.L.A. (Wyszkowski Okrennowy Swiedzek Lekkoatletyczny), which, other than Wyszkow, also included Pultusk, Makow, Serock, and Czekanow, approached Maccabi about registering in the association. The invitation was accepted and the Wyszkower Jewish sports club


The athletic group of the Maccabis
First row: Mikhal Brama, Khana Jakubowycz, Nekhama Blumstajn, Bluma Zuzel, Yisroel Malina
Second row: Avrohom Bahrav, Shimshon Erlikht, Zundel Elboim, Jan Wiernicki (a Polak, chairman of W.O.Z.L.A.), Tenenboim, Dina Rozenstajn, Esther Kurnet, Mirtche Paniatczyk, Feivel Grinberg


took active participation in all the region's competitions.

The surviving Wyszkower Jews still remember that Lag b'Omer[1], when Maccabi and their blue and white flag appeared on the streets of the town and marched with the resonances of the orchestra that played Zionist songs. The enthusiasm of the Jews was boundless. Even the non–Jewish population did not scrimp on their compliments of the beautiful performance.

The activity of Maccabi was not limited to sports exercises and competitions. Very often, readings, concerts, classes, balls, and entertainments were organized. In the inner circles and groups, they studied Jewish history and delivered anatomy lectures.

Deeply etched in my memory is the successful Herzl–seminar of the 20th of Tammuz [Hebrew month, generally in July], that took place in the largest hall in the city – in the firemen's hall. Almost all of the different strata of the Jewish population participated in this successful evening, with the contribution of local and outside energies. Many Jews were left outside because of a shortage of space.

Also, all the various celebrations, evening dances, and balls in conjunction with certain Jewish holidays, were always very successful in a holiday mood.

In general, Maccabi did not miss the opportunity to celebrate the Jewish holidays. It was clear that all profits were designated toward the Keren Kayemet fund of Israel.

Thanks to the sports and their general activities, the club evolved quickly [greatly]. New sections were created, and the life of the Jewish youth acquired a completely different appearance.

Our sports club was also invited to various other activities in the surrounding towns.


Football players of Maccabi during a match with Ostroleka


Once, on a chol hamoed Sukkos [intermediate days of the Sukkos holiday, between the third and sixth day, a lesser holiday], the football section of Maccabi, along with the orchestra, went on the road to Pultusk. After the match, there was a great ball with all kinds of attractions. The profits from the event went to Keren Kayemet.

In general, there were no Zionist events in Wyszkow in which Maccabi was not an active participant.

Unfortunately, I am not in a position to describe purely from memory the all–around and broad–based activities of the Maccabi club, especially because I left Poland in the year 1932.


“Hapoel” Wyszkow, 1936

Translator's Footnote

  1. A Jewish holiday celebrated on the 33rd day of the Counting of the Omer, days between Passover and Shavuot, which occurs on the 18th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar. Return

[Page 91]

The Worker's Sports Club “Skala

by Mayer Leyb Holczman, Buenos Aires

Translated by Pamela Russ

In about the year 1925, the Worker's Sports Club “Skala” was established. At that time, there also existed all kinds of social, cultural, and sports organizations.


Three members of the cyclist section
(from the right): Khaim Ayon, Shayna Ayon, Mendel Stelung


“Skala” was the first Worker's Sports Club in Wyszkow and included the more mindful youth which actively participated in the exercises, surveys, and performances of the club.

In the evening, after a hard day's work, we assembled in the forest for all kinds of sport exercises, hiked for a few kilometers on the Radzyminer highway, until Kamenczyk, all the while singing all kinds of songs. Our instructors knew their jobs well, they served in the Polish military.

We had all kinds of courses on cultural and political themes. In the summer of 1926, when a number of chaveirim [friends, colleagues] born in 1905 had to present themselves for military service, we organized a bicycle excursion to Pultusk in the sports dress of the club. We were welcomed warmly by the Pultusk youth.

There was a very active cyclist section in the club founded and managed by chaver Mendel Stelung. Wearing white hats, green belts, and black lacquered caps, in an organized manner, and as representatives, we went out to exercise on the Serock highway. After completing the exercises, we strolled back to the city via the wooden bridge. While the Jews were watching us with pride and joy, the Polish youth demonstrated their envy and displeasure with the Jewish cyclists.

All this existed until the Hitler beast attacked Poland and also destroyed our home town of Wyszkow.


Membership card of “Skala”


[Page 92]


Worker's youth at a gathering in the forest, 1929


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