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A note from the translator

My motivation

When I discovered that my father's father, David Suchowczycki, (pronounced Sukhovtshitsky) was born in Horodetz I needed to find out as much as possible about his shtetl. I searched the Horodetz Yizkor Book in the Yad Vashem library for my family name. Alas, there is no mention of my family. However, in the expectation that others, who do not have the access that I do to the Yizkor Book library nor have familiarity with Yiddish, would benefit from an English version of the book, I have decided to translate as much as I can as an offering to the community of Jewish genealogists and as a way to keep the memory of those mentioned in the Yizkor Book alive for future generations.

David Silverman

Translation guidelines

The reader should be aware of the guidelines I have used in translating and transliterating portions of the Horodetz Yizkor Book.


For Yiddish words which were not known to me, I used the dictionary, “MODERN YIDDISH – ENGLISH DICTIONARY”, by Uriel Weinreich, published in 1977. This is the classic dictionary most used by Yiddish – English translators.


Names are very significant to genealogical researchers. And especially so to Jewish researchers who are searching for ancestors who may have changed their names sometime in the past. In this Yizkor Book are names of some of the Jews who lived in Horodetz. My problem is twofold. One, how to render into English those sounds common to Yiddish which are foreign to English. And, two, how to reproduce the actual name.


Yiddish sounds into English
The most difficult sound to reproduce is the gutural. Following Weinreich, I will spell it as “kh”. So, the winter holiday would be spelled “Khanuka”; the toast when drinking alcohol would be spelled “l'khayim”. There is a group of translators who want the English equivalent to indicate the original Hebrew sound and letter. So they will spell the holiday “Hanuka” to reflect the “het” which is a less guttural Hebrew letter than the :khaf”. Weinreich's dictionary makes no distinction between the sound of “het” and “khaf” since the Yiddish speakers sounded them the same. The other consonant sounds in Yiddish can be readily converted into English letters.
Vowel sounds will vary depending on which markings were put under the letter. So, “aleph” can have the following sounds in English: “ah” or “awe” or “i” as in “it”. The “ayin” is usually given the sound “eh”.
Compound vowels are sounded as follows: “aleph-yod” = “i”, as in “it” when it begins a name. However, when it ends a name, it is pronounced as “aye”. “aleph-vav” = “ow”; “vav-yod” = “oy”; etc.


Reproducing the original name
Here, several problems arise. First, the names are spelled phonetically in the Yiddish that was used by the residents of Horodetz. Thus, a name may be spelled, and therefore sounded, in Yiddish as “Eppelboim”. Should I change it to “Applebaum”? I cannot make the decision as to how they pronounced their name or how they should have pronounced it. I have decided to reproduce the actual sound as given by the Yiddish.The name stays “Eppelboim” in the English version.
Second, many first names are diminutives and familiars of standard names. They are made into diminutives or familiars by adding the “l” sound to the end of the shortened word. So, Joseph becomes Yussel or Yussl, Jacob = Yankel or Yankl, Yehuda = Yudel or Yudl, Hersh = Hershel or Hershl, etc. Yiddish has a double diminutive, Yussele, Yankele, etc. Should I transform Yussl into Little Joseph and Yussele into Tiny Joseph? I think not. Those names will remain in their original form.
Third, many first and last names have been translated by the owners into their English version. So we find a Yitzkhak, which = Isaac. And we find an Isaac. These names will remain in their original form to reflect the decisions taken by the original owners.

Eugene Sucov, Jerusalem, January 1999


Translator's introduction

Akiva Ben-Ezra, literary editor of Horodetz's Yizkor book, was my uncle. He was a remarkable Talmid Khakham [Jewish scholar], who researched and wrote many articles and books - in Yiddish and in Hebrew - about Holidays, customs, folklore, prominent Rabbis, and the Hebrew language. As a person he was sharp-witted and had a wonderful sense of humor.

I have read and re-read the Horodetz Yizkor book in Yiddish for several years. Horodetz was my mother's birthplace, and I wanted to find out about her Kostrinsky family, as depicted in the pages of the book.

Akiva Ben Ezra contributed to this book a considerable amount of articles, reviews and memoirs, under various names and pseudonyms. Since his father was Ezra Kostrinsky, he sometimes signed as A. Kostrinsky. At the Tzar's time, other members of the family changed their name to Kostrometsky and Kast to evade being conscripted to the army. So, Akiva signed as A. Kostrometsky and A. Kast as well. He also used the acronyms of his name: AB”A, and pseudonyms such as: A.S [Sarah was his wife], A Katrosi [katros in Hebrew: “a lute”], Ein-Hakore [Hebrew: “the eye of the reader” and also “the fountain of the reader”]; Ami [Hebrew: “my people”]

In the original, there are always footnotes in his articles to cite comments and references; this is one distinguishing characteristic of his writing style in this book.

Like Gene Sucov who, ten years ago, undertook to translate from the Yizkor book, I also used “MODERN YIDDISH – ENGLISH DICTIONARY”, by Uriel Weinreich, published in 1977. In addition, I used “MILON KHADASH” [=A New Dictionary] by Hannah Reicher - Hebrew-Yiddish and Yiddish-Hebrew - published by Zak Publishers in Jerusalem in 2003-4. Hebrew is my mother tongue. English is my second language. I have a fair acquaintance with Yiddish. My husband, Shlomo, helped me, given his very good command of Yiddish, German, Polish and Russian. Yiddish absorbed many words from each of these other languages, and a great deal from Hebrew. In my translation, I have inserted, in square brackets, explanations and comments which I thought would benefit the reader.

I dedicate this translation to the memory of my mother, Frieda, daughter of Moshe-Elkana Kostrinsky, to the memory of the whole Kostrinsky family and to Akiva Ben-Ezra my uncle and editor of this Yizkor book. I am indebted to Akiva's two grandsons, Yehuda and Moshe for their helpful remarks to the translation of two articles in the Folklore section.

Hannah Kadmon, Israel, 2010


Page 1

A full page drawing containing, in white outline on black background, a weeping yizkor candle, the title of the yizkor book (in Yiddish) “HORODETZ”, and the years of its existence as a Jewish community, 1142-1942.

Page 2

H O R O D E T Z   Y I Z K O R   B O O K

Copyright by “Horodetz” Book Commiittee, 1949

Except for purposes of literary criticism, no portion of this book may be used or reproduced without permission of HBC, c/o A. Ben-Ezra, 2044 E. 13 St., Brooklyn 29, N.Y.

Printed in the United States of America by


203 Wooster Street, New York 12, N.Y.

Page 3

H O R O D E T Z: A STORY OF A VILLAGE (1142-1942)

Literary Editor, A. Ben- Ezra

Art Editor, Irving Sussman

Produced by the Book Committee, “Horodetz”.

New York, 1949

A Gift from YIVO, N.Y. to Yad Vashem Library

Page 4


We express our appreciation and thanks to our typist and to the Literary Editor, Akiva Ben-Ezra, to Irving Sussman, the Art Editor, and to Julius Greenberg, the Finance Secretary, for their untiring and willing work in making real the memorial to our home village, Horodetz.

May they be blessed.


(Note at bottom of the page)

For technical reasons, the orthography of the book, “Horodetz”, is not unified. Also we have not been able to display all the pictures of the important Horodetzers. Not all whom we asked to send pictures have identified themselves. The reader will pardon us.

The Editors

Page 5

Horodetz Yizkor Book

Illustration Captions

[Page 9]
Aaron Itshe Leyzer's house (about 200 years old); (drawing by I. Sussman)
[Page 15]
On the Bridge: The river with the 2 bridges and the railroad line with the station in the town of Horodetz gave the town fame
[Page 16]

The River
[Page 22]
[right] A Blacksmith

[left] Alter, the Levi (drawing by I. Sussman)

[Page 23]
Alter, the Blacksmith
[Page 24]
The Rav, Mordekhai Greenberg
[Page 28]
The Old Rav's tomb
[Page 29]
The Rav R' Yehosha Yaakov z”l (of blessed memory): (painted especially for the Horodetz Yizkor Book by I. Sussman)
[Page 34]
Facsimile of the Rashi section from a sermon by R' Khayim
[Page 37]
The Cold Shul (drawn by I. Sussman from memories of old Horodetz Jews)
[Page 47]
R' Israel z”l (the Stollinner rabbi) and a facsimile of his signature
[Page 48]
“V'hi sheh-amda” (Song for the Passover Seder)

This is an old Karlin melody, which the Karlinner khassidim sing till today

[Page 50]

Khassidim dancing, drawn especially for the Horodetz Yizkor Book by Deborah Sussman, Israel's daughter (this drawing won second prize in the “Scholastic” exhibition)
[Page 51]
R' David Shlomo, z”l (the Kobrinner rabbi)
[Page 52]
“Yah akhsof”, notes from R' Moshe Kobrinner's melody to “yah akhsof” from R' Aaron the Great (drawn from R' Barukh, z”l, the Kobrinner rabbi, and with the work of Moshe Natanson)
[Page 58]
[middle] Alte Zusselman (drawn with the help of her son, Israel)

[bottom] Itzikl in front of his guest house

[Page 80]
R' Mordekhai'ele (drawing by I. Sussman)
[Page 83]
The Kholozhinner
[Page 85]
Paishe Yankl's (Rosenboim)
[Page 86]
[top] Itshe Shaiya's (Dr. I. Farber)

[bottom] Abraham Hersh Nadritshini

[Page 87]
Shlomo Borshtein
[Page 88]
Khaya Devorah
[Page 89]
[right] Esther and Abraham Bartenboim

[left] Jacob Hersh Hellershtein

[Page 90]
[Page 93]
Standing from right to left: Sender London, F. Hoizman, Bluma Rikhter, Liba Ganilski, Zalman Orlovski, Reizel Yarmetski, Yossl Mantak

Sitting: Jacob Hersh Hoizman, Riva Kuprianski, Fruma Kaminski, Rukhama Volinietz, Yudl Podolenski

[Page 95]
Dr. Israel Michael Rabinovitz (special drawing for the Horodetz Yizkor Book by I. Sussman)
[Page 102]
R' Shalom Kostrinsky
[Page 103]
Motye Itzik's (Kostrinsky)
[Page 104]
Berl Rodetzer
[Page 106]
A Wedding in Horodetz of a Grandson of Berl Rodetzer (at the beginning of the 20th century)

First row, in back, standing from right to left: Yermiyahu Rodetzki, the agent, F. Borshtein, Butshe Birshtein, Sender Shteshupak, Yermiyahu Shub, Joseph Roitkop, Aaron Asher Volnietz, Liba Shub, Abraham Ravitsh, Benjamin Lifshitz, Khayim Dinnes, Tante Mindl, Baile Shteshupak and a Brisker Jew

Second row: Tsiril Rodetzki, Sonya Rodetzki, Itke Bregman, 2 not recognized, Sarah Peshe Dubin, Etye Shub, Benjamin Borshtein, Khaya'ke Rodetzki, Tsiril Lifshitz, Neima Dinnes, Tsvia Stavski, Rivke Dinnes, Bushke Shub

Third row, sitting, from right to left: Shakhne Rodetzki, Beile the wife of Yankl Khodlinner, Mrs. Shteshupak, Itzikl the carpenter, A Brisker Jew, Mashe Borshtein, Aaron Asher Rodetzki, Berl Rodetzki, Golde Dinnes, Esther Devorah Lifshitz, Khaya Tsiril Shub, Gittl Ravitsh, Mayer Lifshitz Fourth row, in front, sitting: Frieda Rodetzki, Yehudith Rodetzki, Abraham'l Rodetzki, Menashe Rodetzki, Moshe Dinnes, Itzil Lifshitz, Moshe Lifshitz, Kalman Ravitsh

[Page 107]
Reb Yitzkhak Zusselman (Itzikil), drawing by his son, Israel.
[Page 108]
Itzikil's birdhouse
[Page 109]
Khayim Itsheh
[Page 112]
Sander the Teacher
[Page 114]
Shmuel the Shoemaker
[Page 115]
Khayim Itzik's
[Page 116]
A Currency Stamp:
[Line 1] Half a Polish Grush;
[Line 2] Charity Learning;
[Line 3] Horodetz currency.

[Translators note: When wandering, destitute Jews would come through Horodetz they were too proud to ask for money directly. So they would give a lesson in Torah. The richer people in town would give them a grush (a basic Polish coin worth about 25 cents). But the poorer people couldn't afford to give a grush, and yet they didn't feel right in not giving them anything. So the rabbi devised the currency stamp. It was stamped on a piece of paper and distributed to the poorer residents who then gave it to the wandering, destitute Jews. With this piece of paper they could buy what they needed from the local merchants.]

[Page 117]
[Caption on botom] The notes for “V'Ani”;
[Left hand side (in Hebrew)] Copied from the music of Rashi
[Page 118]
Yankel Kodlinner
[Page 119]
Reb Alter Shefeh's (Alman)
[Page 121]
Reb Shimon Isaac
[Page 123]
Reb Asher
[Page 124]
Yudel the Teacher
[Page 126]
Reb Asher David the Ritual Slaughterer; Drawing by the well known dead painter, Elias M. Grossman.
[Page 128]
Hershel the Teacher of Girls
[Page 130]
Moshe, Khaya Dvorah's
[Page 134]
Naftali (Weisman) the Doctor
[Page 142]
“Silhouette”, drawing by Israel Sussman
[Page 144]
“Earth Workers”, drawing by Israel Sussman
[Page 148]
First row from right to left: Ruth and her husband, Israel Sussman; Sirke, Shimon Isaac's.
Second row: Reb Asher David the Shoemaker; Reb Itzik (Israel's father); Reb Shimon Isaac; Reb David Moshe Savitzky.

Standing: right: Minyeh, Reb Isaac's wife; left: Khashe, Reb Shimon Isaac's step-mother.

[Page 149]
Khayim Nissel's house
[Page 151]
The “Street” (after the First World War)
[Page 152]
Lieber Polyak
[Page 153]
“A Group of Pioneers”

First row, sitting from right to left: Abraham Vinograd; Khaya Kupriansky; Abraham Garber.

Second row: Khaske Veisman; Jacob Adrezinsky; Pelte Glatzer; Lieber Polyak; Judith Rubinshtein.

Third row, standing: David Rodetzky; Hershel from Kamin's daughter; Jacob Goldberg; Feygel Greblovsky; Michael Hellershtein; Genendil Vinograd.

[Page 154]
Horodetz pioneers in front of Moshe Ber Kupriansky's house
[Page 155]
Rabbi Shalom Podolovsky
[Page 156]
“An Example of Itzikil's Guests”, painted by Israel Sussman
[Page 157]
The new study house
[Page 159]
[Right side:] Kalman Kupriansky.

[Left side] 1) Barukh Greblovsky; 2) Joshua Azornitzky.

[Page 161]
“The Gmineh” 

Standing, from right to left: Berel Liakhovitzky (Aaron David's son); Mottl Arlavsky (Moshe Eliyahu's son); Jacob Nadritzny (Abraham Ezra's son); Gershon Liakhovitzky (Aaron David's son); Hershel Volinietz (Shmuel from Stollin's son); Shlomo Yarmetzky (Jacob Meyer the Shoemaker's son).

Sitting from right to left: Berel Rikhter (Liakhover); Shnishke Blatzky (the eldest of the Gmineh); and Jacob Bergman (Jacob the house painter).

[Page 171]
A facsimile of a shop keeper's account statement.
[Page 179]
Yehseyahu (Shayeh)
[Page 182]
[Right] The grandmother Khaya Zlateh;

[Left] The grandmother Mindl.

[Page 195]
Glimpses of the Horodetz cemetery:

[Upper right] Grave of the “Old Rabbi”, of blessed memory, and the gravestone of Alteh, Itzikil's wife, may she rest in peace. 

[Upper left] In front of the gravestone of Mattes the Philtshik.

[Lower right] A gravestone for 3 brothers: Bezalel Kupriansky; Aaron Itsheh, Leizer's; and Israel Tzadok Kupriansky.

[Page 196]
Abraham Vinograd
[Page 197]
David Volinietz (the lone survivor).
[Page 198]
“The Front near Horodetz on July 20, 1944” (copied from the New York Times).
[Page 201-207] Our Martyrs (pictures)

[Page 214]

Moshe Ber Portnoy
[Page 215]
[Upper right] Shepsl Greblovsky;

[Lower right] Naftali Goldberg;

[Left] Reb Aaron Joseph Zusselman, may he rest in peace.

[Page 216]
[Upper right] The Rabbi Dr. Yitzkhak Jacob Bosniak;

[Middle right] Akiva Ben- Ezra;

[Lower right] Tzvia Greenglass;

[Left] Jan Pierce.

[Page 217]
[Right] Israel Sussman;

[Upper left] Prof. Herman A. Grey;

[Lower left] Dr. Abraham Asler.

[Page 218]
[Upper right] Dr. Saul Glotzer;

[Lower right] Dr. Sidney Shmukler;

[Upper left] Shlomo P. Grain;

[Lower left] Moshe Vinograd.

[Page 219]
Reb Yehuda Leib Greblovsky
[Page 221]
An ambulance which the Horodetz society, “Salvation of Jacob”, donated to the Haganah in 1948.

From right to left: David Goldfarb; Moshe Eppelboim; Aryeh Leib Tsherniavsky; Mottel Kastriansky; Zalman Cohen; Jonah Houseman; Rabbi Mordekhai Greenberg; Moshe Erlikh.

[Page 225]
Dr. Hershel Greenberg
[Page 228]
[Right] Jacob Kastriansky;

[Left] Reb Khayim Mendl, of blessed memory (Kostrometzky).

[Page 230]

Top row, from right to left: Tzvia Greenglass; Akiva Ben-Ezra (literary editor); Israel Sussman (chairman and art editor); Julius Greenberg (finance secretary); Mkhala Timoner (corresponding secretary).

Middle row, from right to left: Benjamin Shlomo Sussman; Israel Groblovsky; Dr. Yitzkhak Farber; Moshe Rubinshtein; David Kaplan.

Bottom row, from right to left: Moshe Vinograd (representative in Argentina); Yeshayahu Kastrinsky (representative in Israel); Rabbi Shalom Podolevsky; Naftali Goldberg (representative for the southern states); Shlomo Podolevsky.

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