The Dereczin Memorial Book
A Book of Remembrance
Honoring the Communities of
Dereczin, Halinka, Kolonia-Sinaiska

(Derechin, Belarus)

53°15' / 24°55'

Translation of
Sefer Dereczyn


Jacob Solomon Berger

Published in Mahwah, New Jersey, 2000




Our sincere appreciation to Jacob Solomon Berger who has kindly donated
his original book to JewishGen for online presentation


This is a translation of: Sefer Dereczyn (The Dereczin Memorial Book),
Edited by Yekhezkiel Raban; English translation prepared by Jacob Solomon Berger.
Mahwah, New Jersey, 2000


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Foreword by Yekhezkiel Raban i
The Translator's Foreword Jacob Solomon Berger iv
A Silent Kaddish for Our Dearest Abraham-Kadish Feder vi
To Our Dereczin Brothers & Sisters in The U.S. Greetings & Blessings! Malka Alper viii
On the Occasion of the Publication of the Book David Rabinovich (ז”ל) ix
Once there was a Town 1
Dereczin of the Past Chaim Rabinovich 3
They Exalted the Name of Dereczin Chaim Zvi Miller-Sinai 20
My Grandfather Occupying the Rabbinical Seat of Dereczin Eliyahu Herenson 24
The Dereczin of My Youth Shlomo Yudson 26
Three Tales from Dereczin of Yore Shlomo Yudson 31
The Sinai Colony Chaim Zvi Miller-Sinai 40
From the Mouth of My Mother, of Blessed Memory Yaffa Prozbol 48
At the Dawn of the Twentieth Century 49
In the Days of Change and Transformation Jacob Kobrinsky 51
A Torah Scroll By Fanny Boyerman-Feder 53
Rabbis, Scholars and Teachers Malka Alper 56
Our Town at the Beginning of the [Twentieth] Century Naftali Ben-Dov 56
Haskalah, the Bund, Self-Defense Chaim Rabinovich 56
Sent Off to Dereczin Ray Raskin 68
Stormy Years Joe Silkovich 67
Once Upon a Time… Feiga-Leah Abramovich 72
Memories from My Father's Tavern Dvora (Dvosha) Kress-Beckenstein 74
Bitter and Sweet Memories Nahum Bliss-Blizniansky 75
Jewish to the Last Breath Moshe Kwiat 75
Those Pious, Upstanding Jews Esther Nissenbaum-Bricker 78
A Night Ride on the Coach Malka Alper 79
A Teacher in Dereczin Hannah Novick 80
From the Last Will and Testament of Simkheh the Storekeeper   82
In the First World War 83
The Years of War & Occupation Chaim Rabinovich 85
In the Vise of the War Malka Alper 90
Under the Yoke of the German Occupation Jacob Rabinovich 92
The Food Committee Mattityahu (Mottel) Abelovich 94
A Charity Soup Kitchen for the Needy Malka Alper 95
War Chitchat Malka Alper 93
Personalities & Their Achievements 97
David Alper 99
    My Brother, David Malka Alper 99
    Our Unforgettable Teacher Liza Katz-Bialosotsky 99
    The Alper Family David Rabinovich 101
    David Alper, Our Teacher and Principal Asher Shofet (Negbah) 102
    He Who Is Not Forgotten Is Not Dead Naftali Ben-Dov (Dykhovsky) 104
Rabbi Chaim Zvi Sinai-Miller 105
    Our Father's Way Khemda & Israel Artzi 105
    A Figure of Shining Light Malka Alper 106
    My Mentor and Teacher Kalman Abramovich 107
    I Was Proud to Call Him ‘Uncle’ Gustav Sharon (Johannesburg) 108
Chaim Lansky 109
    A Difficult Childhood, A Hard Life Jacob Rabinovich 109
    Lansky In His Town Malka Alper 111
    A Poet Under Duress Joshua Gilboa 115
    My Friend Chaim, The Dreamer David Rabinovich 117
    The Role of Home in Lansky's Poetry Abraham Kariv 119
The Last Generation 121
I See Her, Dereczin M. Izaakovich 123
Our Synagogues Jacob Rabinovich 124
Dereczin In No-Man's Land Chaim Rabinovich 125
During the Stormy Days Malka Alper 126
Memories From Those Days Jacob Rabinovich 129
A Jewish-Polish Kitchen Malka Alper 131
Planting and the Harvest Schraga-Fyvel Einstein 130
Between Zion and Revolution Malka Alper 136
Following Upheavals and Pogroms Moshe Sedletsky 138
The Tarbut School As Told by a Group of Students 140
My Father, The Last Rabbi of Dereczin Meir Bakalchuk 143
The Holy Rabbi, Gaon of Dereczin, Bakalchuk זצ”ל Rabbi Chaim-Chaikel Grinberg 145
The Yavneh School Nekha Petrukhovich 146
Betar & Tzahar In Our Town M. Bakalchuk, A. Beckenstein, K. Abramovich 147
In the Service of the Dereczin Community Eliyahu Herenson 150
Visiting the Sick & Overnight Sick Watch Nekha Petrukhovich 154
Our Town in the Thirties Isser Lev 155
Hatred of the Jews on the Eve of Destruction Malka Alper 156
Memories 158
This Is How We Lived in Our Town Haya Kreslansky 160
My Grandfather, זצ”ל Tzirel Kamenetsky 163
Under the Bolsheviks Mattityahu Abelovich 165
The Budding of Zionist Socialism in Dereczin Naftali Ben-Dov 166
The Origins of the HeHalutz Branch David Rabinovich 167
My Grandfather & Grandmother, ז”ל Dov Gorinovsky 168
The Holy Sabbath In My Father's House Sarah Basevitz-Slonimsky 169
Festivals and the High Holy Days Malka Alper 166
How Could One Possibly Forget!? Dvora Smith-Shelkovich 168
My Birthplace, Dereczin Shayndl Wilenczyk 169
My Grandmother & Grandfather Sarah Teichman-Levinger 170
Festival Time in Town Chaya Beckenstein-Pilzer 171
My Husband's Family Nekhama Petrukhovich 172
My Scholarly and Enterprising Father Shimon Abramovich 173
How I Took Leave of My Home Miriam Pechersky-Slonimsky 174
And This Is How We Emigrated to The Holy Land Esther Dlugolansky 175
My Last Sabbath in Dereczin Saul Gorinovsky 177
My Little Town, Halinka Mina Liebreider 177
Enlivenment in Town - An Autobus Chaya Beckenstein-Piltzer 179
A Comical Event Shayndl Kamenitzer 179
A Master of the Tanach Meir Ziskind 181
A Fire in Town Leah Eliovich-Yatvitsky 182
I Met With My Very First Teacher Rachel Alper 183
My Family That Was Wiped Out Shoshana Shapiro-Nozhnitsky 185
Dereczin No Longer Exists Dora Birnbaum-Rothstein 186
A Visit to My Hometown Rukhamah Ziskind-Abelovich 188
I Was a Witness to a False Accusation Leah Shlechter-Shapiro 189
My Brother Leibeh Leah Elyovich-Yatwitsker 190
My Father's House on the Schulhof Liza Katz-Bialosotsky 191
The Pain of Memories Rivkah Saglowitz-Dykhovsky 192
The Destruction 193
My Town Dereczin Katya Klebnik-Bialosotsky 194
This Is How the Jewish Community of Dereczin Was Destroyed Masha & Abraham-Hirsch Kulakowski 195
The Fate of the Feldman Family Rachel Efrat-Feldman 203
The Germans Have Arrived Sara Wachler-Ogulnick 204
From the Hideaway into the Forest Yehudit Yankelevich-Lantzevitzky 205
Barely Escaping With Our Lives to the Forest Pesha Feinsilber 206
We Were Slaves... Y. Reich 211
How Tzippel Beckenstein Committed Suicide Pesha Feinsilber 212
I Was A Refugee in Oppressed Dereczin Shmuel Bernstein 213
Escaped from the Slaughter Gutka Boyarsky-Salutsky 231
Out of the Mass Grave Musha Novitsky-Grachuk 231
The Destruction of the Dereczin Jewish Community Sh. Nieger 234
The Bloody Tenth Day of Ab Tsirel Kaminetsky-Friedman 235
From the Memories of a Refugee Y. Krimolovsky 237
The Fate of My Family Chaya Levin-Glicksfeld 239
During the Days of Slaughter Katya Bialosotsky-Khlebnik 242
This Is How I Was Saved On the Day of Slaughter Sarah Wachler-Ogulnick 244
Remaining the Only One Avraham-Yitzhak Medvetzky 246
The End of Halinka Mina Liebreider 247
Tribulation, Torture and Death Jekuthiel Khmelnitsky 248
Only I Remained from My Entire Family Chaya Einstein-Osterovitz 252
I Saw All This With My Own Eyes Nekha Petrukhovich 253
To the Entire World Regina Rabinovich 255
In the Forests 257
Two Years in the Partisan Forces Masha & Abraham-Hirsch Kulakowski 258
The Only Imperative – Take Revenge Jekuthiel Khmelnitsky 264
Hunger and Death in the Forest Tsirel Kamenetsky-Friedman 270
Dr. Yekhezkiel Atlas – The Partisan Doctor Dr. Y. Rockover 272
With the Dereczin Fighters in the Forest Shmuel Borenstein 276
The Whole Family Lost in the Forest Gutka Salutsky-Boyarsky 287
I Saved Myself Along With My Children Kayla Azaf 290
In the Partisan Camp Yehudit Yankelevich-Lantzevitzky 293
Two Out of the Entire Family Moshe Kwiat 294
We Were Saved from a Terrifying Trap Masha Kulakowski 296
My Life in the Forests Haya Beckenstein-Pilzer 298
In the Forest With My Brother Musha Grachuk-Novitsky 302
Anti-Semitism in the Forest Moshe Kwiat 304
With the Partisans Abraham-Yitzhak Medvetsky 304
My Sister Ruzha Falls in the Forest Katya Khlebnik-Bialosotsky 305
The Zionist Dream in the Thickness of the Forest Masha Kulakowski 307
They Fell With Their Guns In Their Hands 309
Wandering 321
Uprooted with the Maelstrom Meir Bakalchuk 323
From The Foreign Land to the Homeland Rivkah Becker 330
Torn Out of the Pulpit at Sinaiska Rabbi Israel ben Ch. M. Kaplinsky 331
On the Ruins 333
Back in Dereczin Sarah Wachler-Ogulnick 335
No Where to Return Chaya Beckenstein-Pilzer 337
On the Ruins of the Dreams of My Youth Masha Kulakowski 337
From Forest Bunkers to Mass Graves Malka Bulkovstein 339
Orphaned, Abandoned, and Hopeless Moshe & Israel Kwiat 339
A Kosher Passover Among the Ruins Nekhama Petrukhovich 340
Among Ruined Streets and Lanes Meir Bakalchuk 340
Derecziners in America 343
The Founding of the “Derecziner Society” Joe (Jonah) Silkovich 345
The Work of the Dereczin Relief Committee in New York Abraham Kadish Feder 346
In Memory of Our Friend, Nathan Bliss Jonah Silkovich 349
Derecziners in America David Rabinovich 350
Sarah Slotnick-Yanofsky, ז”ל Malka Alper 352
Her Son, Meir, ע”ה 353
Dereczin Kinfolk in Israel 355
Relief-Work of the Dereczin Kinfolk in Israel Malka Alper 357
From Sinaiska – To the Land of Israel Esther Dlugolansky (Petakh-Tikvah) 358
Yaakov Izaakovich, A Chess Fanatic Among the Blind Moshe Guter 359
What I Learned from the Mouth of My Mother Yitzhak Wachler 360
In Memory of Deceased Dereczin Landsleit 361
Remarks in Memory of David Rabinovich ז”ל Kalman Lichtenstein 361
My Father, of Blessed Memory Ilan Rabinovich 362
Elkeh Lichtenstein Malka Alper 363
At the End of the First Year Miriam Musikant 364
Elkeh Lichtenstein of the Dykhovsky Family ז”ל David Rabinovich 364
A Portrait of the Late Chava Sharar ז”ל of the Salutsky Familyby Menahem Rahat 365
A Portrait of My Mother, Bluma, ז”ל Khemda Artzi, of the Sinai-Miller Family 366
In Memory of my Mother Shoshana Gutman ז”ל Israel Gil-Or (Gutman) 367
A Portrait of My Mother Dina Levitin of the Sinai Family Naomi Mizrahi 367
Rachel Eichenbaum-Walansky ז”ל A 372
Shimon Lusky ז”ל M. A 373
In Memory of Reb Mordechai Zolotkovsky Abraham Baysman 373
Ze'ev Ogulnick ז”ל M.B 374
Moshe Izaakovich ז”ל 374
My Sister Shoshana ז”ל Y. Izaakovich 374
[E]lazar Rosenberg ז”ל 374
Beba, (Nekhama)Wife of Reb Yoshe Rabinovich ז”ל 375
Eliyahu, son of Reb Yoshe(Joseph) Rabinovich ז”ל 375
Ethel (Esther) daughter of Joseph & Beba Herenson-Rabinovich ז”ל 375
Our Sister Rachel Alper ז”ל Malka Alper 375
Rachel had Many Facets Amiram 376
With the Memory of Rachel Alper ז”ל Meir Bakalchuk 377
Rachel Daughter of Dereczin Y. Raban 378
Liova (Aryeh) Greenwald ז”ל 379
Nachman (Nakheh) Goldenberg ז”ל 379
Alter Lobzovsky ז”ל 379
Memorial Pages 381
Necrology: Martyrs of the Community of Dereczin 395


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