by W. Glicksman
The first meeting to found the Czestochower landsmanschaft [society] in Toronto took place on the 8th of January 1943 with the participation of the following people: C. Orzech, Sh. Kaminkowski and B. Cyncynatus.
A short time later, a second gathering of the following people took place on the 29th of March 1943: Dovid Berenholc, C. Orzech. Sh. Kaminkowski, B. Cyncynatus and Moshe Pinkus. [It was decided at the gathering] to call the first founding meeting and create a permanent Czenstochower Union in Toronto. The deadline was set for the 4th of April 1943 in the home of Friend D. Berenholc.
On that the day, a group of landsleit [people from the same town] came together at [the home of] Friend D. Berenholc and a presidium was created with the following composition:
C. Orzech provisional chairman.
Shimshon Lichter provisional secretary.
Dovid Berenholc provisional treasurer.
A provisional executive [committee] also was created of the following people:
Moshe Tarnowski, Sh. Lichter, B. Wocznica, A. Dalman and Sh. Kaminkowski.
The elected members of the presidium and executive [committee] approached their work with great energy and immediately collected the first monetary funds from the members attending the meeting. D. Berenholc particularly excelled in this area.
It also was decided at this meeting to give the Czenstochow Society in Toronto the name Czenstochower Area Aid Union in Toronto.
How devotedly and loyally the members of the presidium and the executive [committee] worked is shown by the fact that they succeeded in winning over approximately 100 new members by the 2nd of May 1943, in gathering a large sum of money and also calling a general meeting on that day.
The meeting held on the 2nd of May 1943 elected the following officers:
Moshe Tarnowski chairman.
Yehiel Goldberg vice chairman.
Hershl Goldberg vice chairman.
B. Wocznica vice chairman.
Shimshon Lichter finance secretary.
Sh. Kaminkowski recording secretary.
Dovid Berenholc treasurer.
M. Berenholc, B. Kalchory, B. Wocznica, Y. Czapnik, S. Wocznica, Kh. Goldberg, Y. Goldsztajn, H. Landau, H. Starr, Mrs. M. Berenholc. Mrs. B. Kalchory, Mrs. S. Lichter, Mrs. Wocznica, Mrs. Kh. Goldberg, Mrs. Lazarus and F. Kenigsberg.
It is worth mentioning that under the leadership of Friend Moshe Tarnowski, the Czenstochower Aid Union had great success. The families Berenholc, Wocznica and Eltster stood out in their activities with the Union.
The wives of the Czenstochower landsleit [people from the same town] took a very large role in the work of the Czenstochower Aid Union. They excelled in collecting great sums of money and helped their husbands in their intense aid work.
In order to collect larger sums of money, the first larger
undertaking of the Czenstochower Aid Union in Toronto took place in 1944.
Through the initiative of several people a banquet took place at which a souvenir book was given out. The banquet was attended by a large number of landsleit and with their contributions they strengthened the money fund of the landsmanschaft.
A second banquet with a souvenir book that had a great success took place on the 28th of January 1945.
A summary of activity of the Czenstochower Area Aid Union in Toronto shows the following numbers:
Fifty food packages to Czenstochow, 500 dollars in cash through Dr. Tenenbaum, president of the Federation of Polish Jews, an active participation in all aid institutions, as well as in the moeskhitim [money to provide Passover foods to the poor] campaign, a part in the United Palestine Appeal and others.
The abovementioned was created through the work of the local friends and through the moral support of the United Czenstochower Relief in New York that sent its representative, Friend R. Federman, for this purpose.
The Czenstochower Aid Union in Toronto has not ended its work. Conscious of its purpose and tasks, it continues to stand in the ranks of builders of a new Jewry in general and Czenstochow in particular.
Sitting from right to left: D. Berenholc (treasurer), Sh. Alster, M. Tarnowski (president), H. Goldberg (vice president), Sh. Lichter (fin. sec.).
First row, standing from right to left: A. Winter, E. Szwicer, F. Kenigsberg, B. Wocznica, Y. Freyermoyer, Y. Goldberg.
Second row, standing from right to left: Sh. Kaminkowski (rec. sec.), M. Berenholc, C. Orczech, H. Starr, Y. Czapnik
by W. Gliksman
The first founding meeting of the Czenstochower landsmanschaft [organization of people from the same town] in Montreal took place on the 16th of December 1945 at the initiative and in the house of Mr. Merowicz-Wajcman. Present were: Mr. Nathan Gelber, Mr. Borzykowski and his wife, and Mr. Silver Berkowicz.
The main question at this meeting was how to help the survivors in Czenstochow.
The assembled landsleit [countrymen] at the first opportunity of meeting each other greeted the initiative of Friend Merowicz with enthusiasm and decided unanimously to take on actively the aid work for Czenstochow.
Elected on the spot as temporary president Mr. Berkowicz, vice president Nathan Gelber, treasurer Dovid Gelberg, campaign manager Borszkofsk, campaign chairman A. Merowicz and as temporary secretary Philip Merowicz.
The president, Mr Berkowicz, opened a general meeting and gave the first 25 dollars; further donations were brought: Mr. Nathan Gelber 25 dollars, Mr. Markowicz 25 dollars; Mr. Borszkofski 10 dol.; Mr. Silver 10 dol; Mrs. Juris and Mrs. Bels up to five dollars. One hundred dollars was collected during the same month. The first meeting was closed with the decision to call a second meeting on the 30th of the same month.
A larger endeavor by Czenstochowers in Montreal dedicated to the martyrs in Czenstochow took place on Sunday, the 17th of February 1946 at a memorial meeting in the Arbeter-Ring [Workman's Circle] hall.
Sitting from right to left: Dovid Gelber, R. Federman, H. Berkowicz, A. Majerowicz
The stage was decorated with pictures from the Holocaust time and of present Czenstochow.
Chairman, Mr. M. Merowicz, introduced to those assembled the president, H. Berkowicz, who acquainted the attendees with the purpose of the day's meeting. The memory of the female member of the Czenstochower Aid Union in Montreal, Mrs. Nora Klein, was sanctified. Speeches were given about the prematurely deceased by Mr. M. Merowicz and Shlomo Grunt.
After the greetings from two delegate-landlsleit from Toronto, Mr. D. Klein, Rabbi H. Denenberg and lawyer Leon Kristal, national chairman, gave speeches about those arriving and about the purposes and tasks of American Jewry on behalf of their brothers and sisters across the sea.
The cantor, Avraham Matz recited El Male Rakhamim [God, Full of Mercy prayer for the deceased].
The guest speaker, Rafal Federman, gave a picture of the destruction in Czenstochow and about the present conditions in our home city in an impressive speech. He called upon those gathered to further help those remaining in our old home.
The money collection that was carried out brought in over 800 dollars.
President H. Berkowicz closed the meeting with a further appeal to join the Czenstochower Aid Union.
A banquet took place on the anniversary of the existence of the Czenstochower Area Aid Union in Montreal on Thursday, the 26th of December 1946 at which the honorary president, George Klein, thanked those assembled for the good work and presented to them the newly arrived two young children of Czenstochow, the Wajskop brothers.
Chairman, Friend M. Merowicz, gave a report about the activities up to then: 1,700 dollars in cash was sent to Czenstochow along with 1,200 pounds of clothing, as well as a large number of private packages.
The appeal by the chairman at the banquet collected 1,140 dollars from the 35 guests attending, which was designated for Czenstochow.
The society displayed strong activity in the field of internal organization. The monthly meetings and the strenuous work by individual members was a further guarantee of the existence of the Czenstochower Society in Montreal and that would continue to help their old home city.
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